Starting with where you live, where you go and ending with what your interests are and what kind of movies you usually watch, Google knows it all and a lot more about you. Originally something that outraged the public, this transparency of all of your activity when you’re on the internet is ultimately part of the browsing experience. With the possible downside of always having your online movements consistently tracked, this is the very way in which content is optimized for you. Through optimizing, you can make sure that the recommended content you come across will nearly always be suitable to your liking and interests.
But while this tracking results in things that range between suggested videos on YouTube and all the way to the unsettling Google search prediction that appears as if it was taken out of your mind with the use of tweezers, you may be curious to know just how Google does it all. Ultimately, you may want to know exactly just what Google and other dominating tech giants know and have on you.
Thankfully, there’s a relatively easy, several step method that you can employ to find out just how much of your online movement is actually tracked. Not only that but throughout several stages, you will also get some degree of control over what you may or may not want Google to see.
You should start out by visiting the Google History website, accessed through the URL history.google.com/history. Here, you will find two features: on one hand there is the private data that ‘only you can see’ (however, still plainly visible to Google as they have a perfect record of it all), which offers you a dashboard filled with statistics regarding your browsing history. The second feature allows you to further customize your web and app activity. This can easily be done as long as you are logged into your usual Google account.
Google does not record browsing history data while you’re not logged into a Google account so if it likely that you google things while out of your account or using incognito mode and private browsing modes, the data reflected won’t be quite as accurate.
As your next thing to do, you will want to go to the drop down menu that allows you to select the time window selection and click on all time; this will change your statistics, displaying updated stats for the entirety of your Google account history. Similarly, you can select other periods of time as your ‘reference time’, such as last year or last month. Naturally, you can delete any particular data you may want to get rid of here. Lastly, by going into options (the 3 dotted icon at the top right of your screen), you may view all categories of data that Google has on you: places you go, device information, voice searches and commands, videos you search and watch on YouTube, Google+ info, shared endorsements as well as ads.
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