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How To Check What Google Knows About You

These tips will let you know what Google knows about you and how to protect your privacy

Have you ever wondered what Google knows about you? Google is always watching us and that’s not a secret to anyone. Google knows our location, what we are browsing and how much time we spend on the web in general. You might have noticed when you’re looking for information on Google about products or services, you immediately get attacked by specific ads of the same product or service.

While this might be annoying and probably is, it’s necessary to provide people with personalized information. Doing so not only helps us, as consumers, to see only what we want to see but also helps the business to reach their clients faster and easier and create value. That’s awesome, right?

Nevertheless, the most problematic thing about collecting and using personal data is when it gets leaked to the third parties. This creates data protection issues when information is being used without the consent of a person and used in a way that might harm one’s privacy. That’s why a regulation of the European Parliament even released a law on data protection and privacy called General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR for short.

While laws are one thing, we can always take a step forward ourselves and become more conscious about our own well-being by taking precautions on what information we share with Google or other applications. Nonetheless, there are things that Google will always know about you and here is how you can check it.

Location History

The places you’ve visited, the events you have attended are all being monitored by Google. This gives Google an understanding what you might be interested in according to the geographical place. You can check your location timeline and see for yourself, what Google already knows about the places you visit. You can also use the navigation to select specific dates to see where you have been at that moment of time.

Activity on The Web History

It’s been already known, that your Google’s, YouTube’s search history is being saved by the browser you’re using. Nothing new. But what might be new to you that Google can also check what articles you have been reading, what profiles you were looking at Facebook, what pages you have visited and how much time you spend doing such things as well as see what kind of videos you watch on YouTube. You can check your Google’s internet activity to see what actions you were taking on the internet.

Information from Your Devices

Information about your contact list plans from your calendar, alarms, apps that you’re using and basically every piece of data from your phone, including battery percentage is being collected by Google. Only to give you the best things from what you’re already doing. You can check what information Google collected from your devices on activity shared from your devices.

Photos from Your Phone

If you’re using an Android phone, chances are that all your photos and videos you’ve taken are being saved in the Google cloud. The photo app supported by Google automatically saves pictures and videos on the cloud. While this might be convenient for some people, there is a possibility of information leakage and everything from your cloud might end up being publicly available. You can turn off this function with the instructions given by Google themselves.

Cookies

No! Not the physical and delicious cookies we all like and love, but the virtual cookies, saved on internet browser program. Its function is to collect data from the pages you visited and what you were doing on that page. When collected, it gives Google an understanding of what you might be looking for, what are your interests and so on.

You can check why and how Google uses that data on their privacy page. If you don’t want to use cookies you can disable them in your browser’s privacy or security options. Note, that different internet browsers will have different navigation to those settings.

How to Be Safe

There are a couple of things you can start doing to be safer. First of all, you can delete and manage how cookies are being used on your browsers privacy settings. Secondly, you can delete your activity on the internet by toggling the settings on the Google’s activity page.

Moreover, you can change or adjust personal information on your Google account. Lastly, if you’re using a credit card for your purchases on “Google Play”, your payment information might be saved by Google also. You can check that and if necessary delete that information on Google Pay.

Final Thoughts

It might be unpleasant how our personal data is being managed so easily without us know. On the other hand, the collected data is being used only to create value for us, consumers. Only to better understand our habits, interests, hobbies to create better services and products.

The whole process of collecting and managing our personal might seem unethical at first sight, but we always have an option to either let our personal data to be collected or not. While we probably can’t save all of our personal data, we can surely reduce how much is being taken by Google.

If you think we missed something, let us know and we’ll include it in the article. Moreover, if you have any ideas or suggestions always feel free to email us via the contact form.

Written by Simonas Adomavičius

He is that person who talks much but does little. Nevertheless, he tries to cope with his weaknesses and empower his strengths in order to reach his goals and dreams, which he has many. He loves tech, futurology, philosophy and many other things, especially anime! You'll never get bored talking to him!

If you like what Simon does, help him out by giving him energy with a cup of coffee: http://www.buymeacoff.ee/R1K5VEz

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