Google knows a lot about you, which can be scary when you think about it. After all, Google owns many popular online products that you probably use daily, including YouTube, Gmail, and Google Search. These products collect data on your searches, videos you watch, emails you send and receive, and so much more.
You may not be aware of it all the time, but Google keeps track of it all to improve its services and make advertising more effective, which ultimately means more revenue for them as well.
Google collects data on the vast majority of its users, often without their knowledge or consent. But just how much information does Google have about you? In this article, we’ll dive into everything from the top things it knows to the best ways to reduce your digital footprint, features that quietly track your location and every move you make online.
Let’s get started!
As you use your web browser, Google collects all information about you. Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious that Google’s keeping tabs on you, but other times it’s much more subtle.
This list will help you see just how much Google knows about you so that you can take action to protect yourself.
Google knows your name, email address, and phone number. They also know your location, what you’ve searched for in the past, and what websites you’ve visited. They have even more information about you if you use any of their products (like Gmail, YouTube, or Android).
Either way, though, Google knows quite a bit about you if you’re an active user of its services and products. As a result, you could be in danger of identity theft, targeted ads, or even the loss of your job if someone were to access your Google account and use this information against you.
Google can pinpoint your physical location with the help of your smartphone and GPS technology, which is turned on by default for most smartphones.
To turn off this feature, head to the Location settings in your phone’s Settings app and toggle it off.
Note that Google needs access to your data for many features, including Search and Maps, so be sure to go through all the options when disabling this setting.
Gender-related ad targeting also exists at Google. But luckily, it’s pretty easy to disable these advertisements if they’re unwelcome or inaccurate for some reason.
Head to the Ads Preferences page in your Account Settings and scroll down until you see an option for Gender. Select Prefer not to say if you want to stop receiving ads targeted specifically at one gender or Male or Female if you only wish to see advertisements for those genders.
If you head over to your Google My Activity page, you’ll notice a list of all the things you’ve searched for, browsed online, watched videos of, and more, as well as related pages linked to those search queries.
Clicking on any particular item will show how often you searched for it in general and whether any other related terms were used alongside it that might be relevant.
Your online purchase history says a lot about you. Google likely knows what items you’ve bought, when, and how much you paid for them.
They may also know where you had the items shipped and whether or not you returned them. If you search for coupons on your favorite sites, Google may show ads related to those products.
One of the first things Google knows about you is your app and browser history.
For example, if you use Chrome, they have a record of every website you’ve ever visited. They also know what time you visited, how long you were on the site, and what kind of device you were using.
If you have an Android phone, they know even more about you. They can see everything from your search history to your apps and when you use them.
Google keeps track of every page you visit using their Chrome browser. This includes the pages you visit while logged into your Google account and even when you’re not logged in.
This data is used to help improve your user experience by showing you more relevant ads and search results.
If you have an Android phone, then Google records every call and text you’ve made. This includes the time, date, duration, and contact information. So even if you’ve deleted this information from your phone, Google still has a copy.
And it’s not just that; Google can find out who called you (even if they didn’t leave a message), how long they talked to you, and even where they were calling from.
One of the first things Google knows about you is the type of device you’re using. They can tell what brand, model, and operating system you have. They can also see what browser you’re using and your screen resolution.
Google knows an awful lot about us and our online habits. Still, you can use a few simple tactics to make sure that the data it does have on you is limited, especially if you’re concerned about keeping certain aspects of your personal life private.
To help you take control of your privacy online, we’ve assembled this list of tips and tricks on how to decrease the amount of data that Google has on you. These techniques will prevent Google from tracking your web browsing habits and let you manage your digital footprint and protect yourself from identity theft and other cyber-risks.
Here they are:
- Sign out from Google
- Use VPN
- Delete your search history
- Use a browser plug-in like Disconnect
- Stop tracking cookies
- Update your settings in Gmail
- Limit what’s saved in your browser
- Use incognito mode when browsing online
But you should understand that what comes up in Google search is not provided by Google itself. They merely show the information they found on sites on the web. So you might want to google yourself and see what the internet knows about you. You might even find people’s search sites, for example, Nuwber, in the results. They collect your data from publicly open resources. Check how much information they have on you.
Google can now provide an incredibly detailed snapshot of who you are. It can tell what kind of music you like, the type of news stories that interest you, the places that make up your daily routine, etc.
And while you might have thought of yourself as a private person before learning about this, the reality is that unless you take steps to protect yourself, much of what makes up your identity is in Google’s hands.