All of us praise the good old Google for its free services like the search box, emails, and file storage. But have you ever wondered how they pay to keep the multi-billion conglomerate running? Well as it turned out, they are not as much “the knights in shining armors” 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.
Scared about the world knowing about your deepest and darkest secrets? Don’t fret, as we will help in stopping Google from spying on you through this article.
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:
- Go to https://www.google.com/settings/personalinfo.
- Log in with your Google account
- Scroll down the page to the Account Tools section and select Account History
Now you can view, your
- 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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