See What Google Knows About You Already And How To Opt Out

Google

Privacy is not sacred in this day and age, no matter what you do. Google gives free services like the search box, emails, and file storage and we are so happy about it. But have you ever wondered how they pay to keep the multi-billion conglomerate running? Well as it turned out, they are not giving it for completely free or goodness of their heart as everyone presumes. In fact, each time you use one of their services, they collect invaluable data about your likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. and sell it to their massive advertising network, Adsense.

and yes Google knows everything about you, from your search history to your favorite places.

How to Check Your Google History

Believe it or not, deleting your browser history doesn’t delete your Google search history. So, while you are heaving a sigh of relief after you managed to delete your browser history; someone at Google headquarters would still be able to find everything you have been searching for, on the Google’s databases!

To check your Google history:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/settings/personalinfo.
  2. Log in with your Google account
  3. Scroll down the page to the Account Tools section and select Account History
  • Search and Browsing History – DELETE DELETE DELETE!
  • Your Voice Searches and Commands –  Stored from the “OK Google” app.
  • Places You Go – Every time you use Google Maps
  • Information from Your Devices – All your contacts, apps and calendar events you sync from phones, laptops, and tablets
  • Videos You Searched on YouTube  –  Found from YouTube’s History tab
  • Videos You Watched on YouTube

How to Check Your Interests

Google is pretty nifty at hiding stuff from getting deleted! Apart from everything listed above, they also store personal information like age and gender to give advertisers a better idea of your demographics.

You can find this information at the bottom of the Account History page, where a very smartly hidden Related Settings section lurks in shadows. Click on Ads, and you can see your demographic information as well as your interests, as collected by Google. Luckily, you can delete all of this information, and even add some if you want ads for a specific interest.

How to Opt Out

If you want to stop Google from assimilating information about you, you can use the ‘opt out of all the targeted ads’ option. Go to the bottom of Ad Settings page, and click on Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads link.

But this will result in dealing with a host of annoying ads which have nothing to do with your interests, unless you use the ad blocker, of course!

You can also return to the Account History page and put everything to pause. This action will stop Google from gathering new information about you. It will also give you a chance to set your interests from the Ads page.

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