The world’s most preferred search engine, Google has become enormously popular by integrating with several platforms like, Gmail, Google+, Google Maps, etc. which are used by millions of people globally. These services are not only easy to access, but also deliver fast and relevant results.
In this blog, we’ll let you know in detail on how Google is spying and tracking your activities, when and how it uses your information, and what you can do to safeguard your Google searches in a better way.
Does Google Track What I Search For?
If you are doubtable here, the answer is a big YES! Google tracks all of your search history on the web. In most of the cases, if you want to use any of Google’s services or platforms, you must be logged in with a Google account. Once you are logged in, Google starts the clever play with an active tracking process. It records:
- What you search for.
- How you search.
- What links you click.
- Which images you view.
- Which videos you watch.
Do Google Track My Search History Even If I’m Not Logged In?
Users often believe that by not logging in with a Google verified account or by just staying logged out, they can safeguard their search queries. In reality, it’s not at all so. Every time we log onto the Internet, we leave traces of our identity on the web. This is usually via IP addresses, MAC addresses, and other unique identifiers. Also, there are few web browsers, sites, and applications which require the user to store cookies.
Google spies on you on the following information, even if you have not logged in, there is still information that can be readily assessed by a search engine. It includes:
- Where you are via GPS.
- Your IP address.
- What ads you click.
- Devices you access via Google services.
What Information Google Collects?
Most commonly, Google collect:
1. Information that user share. It generally refers to personal information like name, email address, phone number, credit card, and photo.
2. Information shared by a user, such as personal preference, email, browsing history, map searches, and documents via Google services.
3. Information about the physical location i.e. city, state, neighborhood, and approximate address.
4. Information about the search history which includes personal information available at YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Images.
How to Prevent Getting Your Data Tracked By Google?
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If you’re learning about how Google is actually tracking, storing, and using your information for the first time, you might be a little overwhelmed as to what to do and how to prevent it. To start with, simply take the time to educate yourself about the most popular search engines in the world and the way they use your personal information. To prevent Google from spying on you, here are some steps you can take:
- Modify and control the Google Activity Settings which are meant for protecting your privacy.
- Clear your Google search history completely after every browsing session.
- Decide how much information you should actually share with Google for a managed access.
- Check your Google dashboard regularly to keep a check on your activity, settings and information.
- Review and control the type of ads you want to view powered by the Google.
- Prefer doing periodic privacy checkups with Google privacy checker.
- Don’t sign in with a Google account as there is a risk of losing some data relevancy.
- Try some alternative search engines available widely which do not track your search history.
- Change passwords of your linked accounts more often and check connected applications and sites regularly to manage active devices and accounts.
- You can opt out when Google uses any shared photos in background images and try to keep all of the Google and YouTube subscriptions private.
While an online user should always keep the web platforms and services he/she usually use accountable to a certain common standard of user privacy, everything related to the online safety and security lies on the actions we take. It’s our ultimate responsibility to protect our secure information by taking timely actions regarding Google spying.
Personal Information Privacy: It’s All Up To You!
Google is quite powerful and intelligent search engine that keeps on changing its privacy policies and provisions time and again. No matter, you are or not concerned about the information in your Google search, profile, and personal dashboard, Google will track it some or the other way.
To stay on a safe side, enhance the relevancy of your queries online and make sure that all the information shared on any of the service and application platforms linked with Google lies within the bounds of personal privacy level you are actually not afraid of sharing.
So, these are the few ways that can help you in knowing and realizing how Google is spying on you. To prevent such risk of information breaching, you can prefer keeping your personal information as private as possible. You can also try following the above given ways to prevent Google from spying and tracking your data.