Facebook isn’t the only one profiling you
By now we all know Facebook does big business collecting data based on our activity on the social media website (and elsewhere). But the real data curator is Google.
Google’s data gathering is far creepier and more robust than Facebook’s, and if you’re concerned about your online privacy it’s worthwhile to take a look at what they’ve collected about you.
Like Facebook, Google uses this data to create an advertising profile and match you up with companies and products you’re most likely to buy. They’re interested in your lifestyle, location, weight loss goals, job status, income, relationships, and interests.
Here’s a quick look at what Google probably knows and stores about you.
What you search for (even if you delete it)
This one’s a no-brainer. Of course they know what you’ve searched. But because they store your search data across devices, it may not really be deleted if you only delete it on a single device.
Your app use and daily habits
Part of your profile comes from the apps you use on your various devices. Do you check Facebook first thing in the morning? Google knows. Did you go out last night and request an Uber? Google knows. And they know what time you got home, because …
Google knows where you live and spend your time
Location services on your mobile phone are an advertising gold mine. And therefore your location data is mined meticulously. Here’s a link to see every place they’ve recorded you at since you started using Google.
How to see your Google data profile
This link will take you to Google Takeout where you can download the equivalent of millions of Word documents of information they’ve collected about you.
Stay safe online
Hopefully this was a good reminder that online privacy is increasingly complex and it’s important to protect yourself in practical ways. One of the best defenses you have (aside from ditching the internet all together, which is pretty impractical) is a good password on Google.
Imagine the damage someone could do if they figured out your password and accessed this breadth of data on you. Find a trustworthy password service like LastPass that will generate and store a random impossibly hard password.
Varay is a trusted partner in your fight for online safety. Click here to request a free no-risk audit and learn how safe your data is.