Security Awareness

WHAT DOES GOOGLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?

“Knowledge is Power” – well Google have taken this phrase to a whole new level. Google is one of the biggest driving forces of the information age. Remember when Google used to be just a search engine? Well, their sophisticated approach to data collection is allowing them to do way more cool stuff. Every other day I come across articles and reports alleging one of the big media companies is intruding on my personal information. Well something dropped the other day which made me think, “what does Google know about me”?

The simple answer is a lot.

The processes I am going to take you through rely on you being logged on to a Google Account (which you probably have). If you have ever logged into an Android phone or tablet, used Gmail, or used YouTube as a registered user then you have a Google account.

What does Google think about you?

I was curious to see what Google thought it knew about me. Below are some of my ‘interests’. To my surprise they were right with a lot. In fact, out of 85 listed interests, google only got 2 wrong.

 

1st

Every time you make a search, go to a website or click an add, Google is watching. In order to serve relevant ads, Google collects data about you and creates a profile.

Find out what Google thinks about you using this link >> http://www.google.com/settings/ads/

Where does Google think I have been?

In existence of my google account, this is spot on. However, this is not all!

2nd

In addition to this, Google can tell you:

  • What is your most visited place (With the full address and postcode).
  • The exact dates and times when you visited that place.
  • What route you took to get to this place.
  • How long it took you to get to that place.
  • The full address and postcode of a stop, if you stop.
  • How long you stayed at the place after you arrived.
  • The full address and postcode of where you went after you visited this place.
  • How long it took you to get to this place (With an exact date and time).

If you want to find out your travel habits, you can do so
by going here >> https://maps.google.com/locationhistory

When do I use the internet the most?

3rd

Google knows this down to the hour! They know I search more at mid-day on a Tuesday. They know search less in the months of July, August and September (Probably because I’m enjoying the sun).

What does Google do with this information?

So you maybe wondering, “why does Google want to know all of this about me”?. This is because your habit are a big deal…in the world of marketing atleast. The more Google knows about you, the better they can target you with products and services. Ever wondered why you kept getting adverts of “cars” weeks after you looking for cars online? Yes, Google is paying attention! By using direct marketing, you are more likely to engage with their adverts. Think of it as tailor-made advertising.

What if I don’t want Google to know this about me?

If this article has made you a bit uncomfortable about how much information Google is collecting about you, then you will be happy to know that there is an option to opt out by clicking the link below.

https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

This will stop the Google Analytics from following you.

Posted 3 years ago on · Permalink