We spend our lives on the internet, but that doesn’t mean they have to be public. Unfortunately, unless you actively try to protect yourself, your every digital move is likely to be recorded, analyzed, packaged, and sold to any and all bidders. Sure, some organizations and services are more concerned about your privacy than others, but in the end, it’s up to you to squeeze whatever privacy you can out of this data-gathering maze.
6 Google Privacy Settings
This leads us to Google. The digital behemoth has wormed its way into practically every facet of our everyday lives, from internet search to email to calendars, smart assistants, maps, and location data. Google knows a lot about the individuals who use its services – and we mean a lot. While we’re unlikely to witness a Mountain View-style Cambridge Analytical-style crisis, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some basic actions to secure your Google data leakage.
1. Email tracking should be deactivated:
You almost certainly have an email account if you’re online. You could even have two or three of them. This fundamental online tool, on the other hand, has the ability to surprise you — especially when it comes to your privacy. Did you realize that individuals can detect whether you’ve opened or not opened their emails? Furthermore, senders can determine when and how many times you opened the email in question. Isn’t it a little creepy?
Pixel tracking is a marketing tactic that is used by both businesses and individuals. Thankfully, blocking it on Gmail is really simple. Simply click the gear symbol in the top righthand corner of your Gmail account, then select “Settings.” Next, scroll down to the “Pictures” row and choose “Ask before showing external images” from the drop-down menu. Make sure to scroll down to save your modifications.
2. Stop monitoring your location:
Google is likely to know where you’ve gone and when you’ve been there. This is because of a feature called “Location History.” This “records where you travel with your devices, even when you’re not using a specific Google service, to provide you tailored maps, suggestions based on areas you’ve been, and more,” according to Google.
Is it possible that you don’t want Google to do this? Thankfully, this distasteful part of the company’s services may be “Paused.” If you’re not sure how to log into your Google account, go to https://myaccount.google.com. Click the circle icon in the top righthand corner of the page. Toggle the slider to “Paused” after clicking “Google Account” > “Data & customization” > “Location History.”
3. Put an end to the voice recordings:
Everyone understands that Google is more than simply a search engine. The corporation is also behind the Google Assistant, a voice-activated assistant that might send recordings of your chats to actual humans to listen to and transcribe. “When you utilize audio activations such: Saying instructions like ‘Ok Google’ Tapping the microphone icon, Google captures your voice and other sounds, plus a few seconds earlier,” reads a Google settings website.
You can prevent Google from keeping these recordings if you it doesn’t need to. Return to “Data & Personalization,” then choose “Voice & Audio Activity.” Make sure that “Paused” is selected.
4. All web and app activity will be paused:
If you wish to remain as private as possible during using Google’s services, you may do so by pausing all site and app activity. Go over to Data and Privacy > Web and Mobile app Activities > Delete. On your Google account settings page, switch off and then press Pause. This will stop Google from gathering information about you across almost all of its web and mobile goods and services. All activities monitoring in Search On google, Calendar, and Android Market, as well as Google Assistant and Chrome, will be disabled as a result of this. Stopping all activity history may result in you losing access to your internet world if you rely on Google’s ecosystem.
5. Get rid of Google:
This is more of a general recommendation than a Google setting: Stop using Google for search. Use DuckDuckGo instead, which bills itself as “the web browser that doesn’t track you.” If you really must use Google to look for something, don’t do it while signed in to your Google Account. As a result, such searches are linked to your Google Account, which is most likely in your real name. Use a different browser, such as Firefox, for all your non-Google Account needs as an added precaution.
6. Disable ad personalization:
Ads account for the majority of Google’s revenue. The corporation devotes a significant amount of resources to its advertising efforts in order to preserve cash flow. This entails building a huge network of data mining technologies in order to construct user profiles. These characters are used by the firm to deliver you tailored advertisements. If you’re wondering why you keep seeing baby diaper advertising just days after having a baby, it’s because Google has been keeping track.
Go to adssettings.google.com to see how much advertising power Google has over you. Google may know your marital or parental status, music preferences, and even the sort of work you perform based on your interactions with their products. This is how Google is able to serve you adverts that appear to have originated directly from your head.
If you’d want to put an end to this: Go to adssettings.google.com to learn more. At the top of the page, look for a switch labeled Ad personalization is enabled. To initiate a confirmation request, turn the switch on or off. To turn off ad personalization, click Disable in the popup that opens.