Google Privacy Tips

This article is more than 7 years old.

If you are concerned about Google's new privacy policy, which takes effect March 1, here are some suggestions to get you started on managing your personal data.

Don't Log In For Searches


One way to opt out is to use the Internet without logging in to a Google account, according to Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at the Wall Street Journal. "If you aren’t logged in, your searches won’t be tied to your identity," she says. "You can tell whether you’re logged in by checking the black bar that is now at the top of all Google pages."
Manage Your Google Services
For those who do log in to Google, there is no real way to entirely avoid having your data tied to your identity. But tech blogger Violet Blue recommends taking a personal inventory, starting with a visit to Google Dashboard to see a list of the Google products that have your history and data.
"There, you will see every Google service you use, the current privacy policies and links where you can manage (or delete) the information you’ve left there," she says. Blue notes that there are specific privacy policy changes for Chrome and Chrome OS, Books, and Wallet.
Remove Web History
To stop Google from tracking your web history and the search results you click on, log in to Google History and click "Remove All Web History." The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a step-by-step guide.
Turn Off Personalized Ads
Gizmodo's Brent Rose reminds us that personalized ads can be turned off, noting that with this new policy, Google's advertisements will be even more targeted to each user than before, because "it will be pulling from this larger, more unified, more personal shared data pool."  Rose says to turn off personalized ads, "go to your Ads Preferences Manager, click "Opt Out" under "Ads in Search and Gmail", and then again under "Ads on the Web"."

Leave Google All Together


Valentino-DeVries says it's possible to to leave Google services altogether, and take your data with you if you do. A Google engineering team called the Data Liberation Front has a website dedicated to helping users export their data.

This program aired on February 29, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Support the news

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news