GOOGLE probably knows more about you than you think – and it’s easy to enough to check.
There are hidden lists that reveal Google’s intimate knowledge of your life, but you might never have seen them.
Thankfully it’s very simple to find these troves of info.
And you can very easily switch off some of the tracking features and delete the caches of data if you want.
What does Google know about me?
Google can work out so much about who you are and what you do.
Some of that is simply what you tell it: you may have handed over your name, age and date of birth.
Your activity on its platforms will also provide info.
For instance, it can gather data from the searches you make, the YouTube videos you watch, and the apps you download.
Much of this information will be held in your Google‘s Dashboard.
Some of this information is just for you.
Other bits are used to help make Google’s apps better – like knowing your home and work addresses to provide Google-Maps commute advice.
But Google’s building of an advertising profile on you, in order to personalise the ads that you see.
In some ways, this is a good thing: you’ll see ads that are more relevant.
However, it’s also the result of data collection – so the privacy-conscious might want to switch ad personalisation off.
You can see the ads profile that Google has built for you here.
Some of it will be spot-on – and probably terrify you as a result – but it’s likely Google will have made a few mistakes along the way too.
In any case, you can turn ad personalisation off with a single click if it worries you.
How to find out what Google knows about you
To see the data that the tech giant has collected about you, you first need to open to your Google-Account by clicking on your profile picture.
Then, select “Manage your Google-Account”.
Next, click “Data & personalization”.
Here you’ll be able to scroll through your past online activites.
Including “YouTube watch and search history” and a “Maps timeline”.
If you scroll further down the page you’ll see an option to “Download or delete your data”.
Google’s explaination of the steps you need on its ‘Get a summary of data in your Google-Account’ webpage.
How to stop Google storing your activity
It is possible to stop it from storing so much info in the future.
Go back to “Data and privacy”, “My Activity” and under “Web & App activity” you should see a blue toggle.
Switch it off.
You can also switch off your “Location History” and “YouTube History”.
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