After all the security scandals that involved Facebook recently, you thought that the giant led by Zuckerberg is the online platform that knows you the best? Well, that’s not at all true. Google collects data about you that you don’t even think about!
It’s true that there are settings that can help you limit the amount of information Google finds out about you. Also, the type of devices you access the internet from and the products and services you use, can influence the amount of data Google knows about you. Even so, it’s a fact that you are not at all in control.
Google knows everything you’ve ever searched for on the internet, it knows all the videos you’ve watched, it can even know who you met or what you bought. All this because it is the world leader when it comes to data collection.
To be more specific here’s what Google knows – any word you search, any video you search, any audio you listen to when you use audio features, what you buy online, what people you get in contact to, any apps you may use that use Google services, the ads you watch on Google websites, your location, that cand be either transmitted through GPS or from IP adresses or Wi-Fi routers from nearby.
You don’t even know what information about you might be hidden online. A huge amount of information is there available online just for Google to collect it, just because at some point someone just put it there – for example embarrassing pictures from your youth that you think are long disappeared or information about stupid things you might have done – these can all be online, with you unable to do anything to erase it. For those who live in Europe is a little bit easier because in the EU there exists “the right to be forgotten” through which you can ask Google to delete certain data.
There are some things you can do to limit as much as possible what Google can find out about. You can choose another engine to use – you can choose Bing from Microsoft. You can use Google Chrome as your browser, but in private mode, or just try Firefox or Safari. You can also just sign out from your Google account on every device you use, with this meaning that you have to sign back in every time you want to read or send an email or you want to read a Google document.