Google Knows A Lot About You – Check Details Here

Have you ever bothered to think about how Google shows relevant search results even before typing your keywords? Or how does Google display the ads matching your interests? Yes, you got it right. Google collects data from users while they are online. There are various ways in which Google collects user data. This post will give you a very clear idea of what Google knows about you.

SEE ALSO: Change these 5 Settings in Facebook to Protect Your Privacy?

What Data Google Collects from Users

Here is a quick list of the types of data that Google collects from its users in various forms. You will be surprised by the amount of data you are giving to Google every day. So, here we go:

1. Google Knows Your Web History

Google Chrome is the world’s most used web browser. That means it has way more information about users stored on its servers as compared to other web browsers. Google Chrome provides users with easy access to their bookmarks, saved passwords, and many other online services.

No matter where you are, just sign into Chrome using your Google Account and all your personalized settings will be available right there. At the same time, Google also collects users’ search, browsing, and usage history. What if all this data falls into the wrong hands?

Google keeps track of every activity that you are performing online, especially in Google Chrome. If you want to see the search history that Google has stored, just click this link. If you are visiting this page for the first time, you will see some introductory slides, just click Next to move on.

Google My Activity Page
Google – My Activity

Now, you will see your entire Google search history. Each search that you made on Google and the websites you visited will appear here. You can also clear this history if you want. Just click on “Delete Activity by” in the left side menu and select the range of dates to delete the history.

Search and Browsing History
Search and Browsing History

SEE ALSO: How to remove third-party App access from Google and Facebook?

2. Ads (Advertisements)

The next thing that Google knows about you is your interests. By analyzing your online behavior and search history, Google knows what kind of ads to present to you when you are online. Google has a vast ad network of more than 2 million websites and 100+ ad providers. Almost every website that you visit daily has Google ads on it. By knowing your likes and dislikes, Google presents you with more relevant ads.

Click here to see what Google thinks about your interests. On this page, you can see the list of the things that you like and the list of things that you dislike. Google uses these lists for ad personalization. You can manually add interest or remove any from the list of your likes. Once you remove any of your likes, it automatically moves to the list of your dislikes.

You can also turn off Ads personalization by turning off the toggle switch next to “Ads personalization”. This will not stop Google from showing ads to you but ads won’t be relevant to your interests anymore. It’s not a bad idea to keep Ads personalization ON; maybe you can get a good offer someday.

Your Interests and Dislikes
Your Likes and Dislikes

SEE ALSO: Why Customer Service is Important in the Internet Service Industry?

3. Google Knows Your Location History

Like other things, Google also keeps track of the places that you visit. Google tracks your location in three common ways – by using the GPS of your phone, by using data services, or by using both. You may have started feeling insecure but it’s something you have agreed to by using Google’s services. And it is useful too. It helps you by saving places on your Google Maps.

You can save multiple places on your Google Maps and navigate to them later or when required. To check the list of places that Google has stored, click this link. Your location history will be displayed. If you are visiting this page for the first time, you will have to go through some introductory slides like before, just click the Right Arrow to finish it, or simply click on skip at the bottom.

Location History on Google Maps
Location History – Guide on the first visit

Now, you can see the places where you used Google to do anything. You can explore the list of all the places that you have visited. You can manually turn off your location history by clicking on Manage Location History.

Location History on Maps
Location History

4. Google Dashboard

Ever wondered which Google services you are using? You would think of Google Search, Gmail, Maps, and maybe a few others. But to know what Google services you are using, click this link. You will be directed to a Dashboard showing the list of all Google services you are using.

Most common services include Email accounts, AdSense, Analytics, Android, Blogger, Books, Brand Accounts, Calendar, Google Chrome, Contacts, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Play, Google Plus, Groups, Google Maps, Package tracking, Payments, Google Photos, YouTube and many more. You can click any of the services shown on your dashboard to check the details of that particular service.

Google Dashboard - services connected with your account
Google Dashboard

5. YouTube Search History

Just like Google Search, YouTube also saves all of your searches. Google knows, what you have searched on YouTube. And YouTube uses this search history to show you better videos in Suggested Videos. This way YouTube delivers more relevant videos and ads. You must have noticed that after searching for a specific topic on YouTube, will see more of those types of videos on your dashboard the next time you visit

Click this link to see your YouTube search history. Besides YouTube search history, you can also check your Watch history, Comment history, and Community history here. Just click on the radio button next to the history type on the right side of the page. You can also remove any history item by simply clicking on the cross (X) button next to it.

YouTube Search History
YouTube Search History

SEE ALSO: How to Turn On or Off Restricted Mode on YouTube?

6. Permissions

So, how does Google collect so much data about you? There is one simple thing called permission. Google or any other service provider will always ask you for your permission to access your data.

Over time, you might have provided various permissions to many apps and services. And maybe you are not using most of them anymore but they are still connected to your Google account. Click here to see the list of apps and the type of permissions you have given to the extensions and sites you use.

Apps and Websites with access to your Google account
Apps and Websites with access to your Google account

You can click on any of the Apps or sites to see which permissions you have given them. You can also revoke permissions of a specific app or website by clicking on the Remove Access button. The next time you will use that app or website, it will ask for your permission again.

Remove access to specific website or web app from Google
Remove access to your Google account

SEE ALSO: How to Manage File and Folder Permissions in Windows?

7. Takeout (Download your Data)

So far you have seen that Google has a lot of information about you ranging from your search history to your interests, likes, and dislikes. Apart from all other services, Google also provides a Takeout service which allows you to export every piece of information that Google knows about you.

You can make a compressed archive of all your data and download it to your computer. Google also provides the facility to break your data into multiple small archives if your data is too large to be downloaded in a single file. To take out your Google data just visit this link, select the services whose data you want to export, and click Next at the bottom of the page.

Google knows - download your data from google
Click NEXT to download your data from Google

You will be asked to customize archive settings. Select the type of archive. There are two options – .zip for Windows and .tgz for Linux, select based on your Operating system. Next, you can break your data into small archives ranging from 1GB to 50GB if your data is too large.

Under “Delivery method” select an appropriate option. If you want to get a link to download data to your local computer, select Send Download link via email. Alternatively, you can also save your data to Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Create archive of your personal data on google
Create an archive of your data

SEE ALSO: How to Download Backup of your Emails from Gmail Account?

Check What Google Knows About You

It seems like Google knows a lot about everyone. But you always have control over your data and how it is being handled. It’s a good practice to keep track of the permissions you have provided to apps and websites and remove old app permissions if you are no longer using them. Be safe online.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

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