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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

1606. What Does Google Know About Me?

It bugs me that Google seems to know so much about me and my online activities. Is there some way to examine the information they’re storing about me?
Of course, it’s easy to joke about this, and ponder the type of browsing history you might have that you wouldn’t want Google (or your mother, perhaps) to know about, but the fact is that Google does track a great deal of information about each of us and our online activities. If you don’t have or use a Google account, there’s less information that they can use, but for those of us who have Gmail accounts and use them daily, storing bookmarks, searching the Web, viewing videos on YouTube, and using other Google sites and applications, it’s pretty clear that Google knows a lot about us.

If you want to limit the storage of this information, and perhaps clear out an embarrassing YouTube search, should anyone ever get information about your account, Google does provide tools that make this easy. Assuming you have an active Google or Gmail account, browse to myaccount.google.com. This site provides an account page that allows you to look at things like your account history and your ad settings. You can control your content, you can perform a privacy checkup to turn on and off various features, and you can try out the security checkup to make sure your passwords that you use with Google are all strong passwords. You’ll find a ton of useful information at this site, and if you give it a little time, you can even weed out searches and other online activities. For more information about the tools available at myaccount.google.com, check out this article: 

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