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Google is doing well if we talk about privacy and their data security practices even before until now. However, they could not keep it in a perfect state. In 2009, a bug was found in Google Docs platform wherein it leaked about 0.05% of stored documents. The percentage may sound “not so” alarming, but if we base it on 1 billion users, that’s around 500,000 people. Google is a huge company, and it can’t afford any errors. But with today’s more advanced technology, their security systems are more foolproof compared to the past.
A lot of business owners mostly use Google Analytics for their digital marketing needs. The internet giant itself utilizes this product plus a few more others so that the browsing trends of the users will be determined. The info is linked by Google to a related Google account as well as an IP address so that a person’s entire profile is assembled.
And since Google can extract such information, it has become an all-powerful entity in the advertising world. In 2017, Google profited $95.38 billion mainly from ads. This data is very useful for marketers who are looking for customer insights by using advertisements in targeting people.
Things That You Can Do
Don’t fret, there are some things you can do to safeguard your privacy when it comes to your internet usage. The search engine is doing its part through the Google privacy settings, but you need to perform your part too. They allow you to protect your online privacy through the following methods:
- Recognize your right to privacy – use the Google Privacy Center whether it’s about Google account privacy or Google photos privacy to know your rights. It contains privacy policies that are being enforced by the company, including the best practices of all their products and services. If you find it hard to comprehend Google “legalese” you will see a library of short videos containing tips on protecting your data while using the products or services of Google.You can easily follow the videos than the privacy declarations.
- Content protection on using the services – example of content that Google saves for you are analysis results, photos, and documents. Google Analytics and Google Docs privacy protect you against any data leaks, but once you upload in Picasa Web Albums, it goes public.There is a way to protect them by clicking on the appropriate checkbox while you are on the process of uploading the pictures. Also, you can disallow Google to save instant messaging transcripts to keep Google Chat away from the company’s radar. Remember, Google Latitude can track you using their GPS enabled mobile phones. You have control to let anyone know your location. Google Latitude will not share the data of your location, not unless you want to make it public.
- Switch off suggestion feature – Google Chrome has a Google Suggest feature wherein it tries to guess the web address that is typed in the search bar. It gives suggestions on the destinations based on famous websites as well as the search text given. You can simply turn off this feature so that you can keep your Google data privacy by simply unticking the “use a suggestion service” box. You can also choose the “incognito” mode to make sure that the cookies, downloads, and other kinds of records will not enter your computer every time you end the session.
- Internet-based ads can be turned off – Google as well as all the third parties in its AdSense network do not depend on contextual information. They look at your web-history of the previously seen web pages to make targeted ads and to serve advertisements according to your interests. You can remove the categories of your interests by going to the Ad Preferences page, which is suggested by the famous web development service companies. You can also opt-out but you have to install plug-ins for each of your browsers separately.
- Place the lid on your web history – when someone tries to create a Google account, the person usually forgets to turn off the options for Web History. Leaving this option active means it will maintain a customized search history that the person can use. Googles do not use this information to send targeted ads since it uses a separate search history that is kept in Google’s server logs. Even after keeping that data unknown every nine months, your browsing history is still in place, except when you turn it off or remove the content.
Another Helpful Tip
The final tip you should remember to keep your privacy on Google is to encrypt the emails that you create and read in Gmail. Google can encrypt your login data by default through the use of SSL encryption. However, it turns off whenever you interact with your email since it slows down the emailing platform’s overall performance. The option where you can encrypt your emails can be seen in Settings under the General tab. Look for the “Always use https” option under the Browser Connection setting by scrolling down at the bottom part and then turn it on.