5 Types of Data That Google Might Be Collecting from You
When you sign up to use Google’s free email service (Gmail), you fill out an account registration page. The registration page asks for personal information like your name, age (birthday), where you live, an alternative email address, and phone number. In addition to those mandatory questions, there are more personal questions that you can choose to answer (but you don’t have to). Google saves all this information when you sign up for a Gmail account. However, besides your name, the rest of the information you give doesn’t have to match your real identity (because Google doesn’t confirm your identity). Therefore, you can protect your identity by not giving all of your personal information to Google.
GMAIL AND SEARCH (WITH CAUTION)
If you use Gmail, Google collects (and stores) information scanned from your email documents. The technology giant claims that they never access their users’ emails (unless ordered to do so by a court). However, Gmail users often notice that they get ads that are similar to their email topics. Therefore, cybersecurity experts believe that Google sells keywords from user emails to third-party advertisers. The advertisers then customize ads that relate to what users discuss in their emails. That means you should never discuss sensitive topics in your (Gmail) emails that you wouldn’t want others to see.
When you conduct online searches using the Google search engine, Chrome web browser or any Android device, Google (automatically) saves your search history. That means the tech giant knows everything that you look up online. Therefore, if you want to protect your online browsing activity, you must disable the option to save your search history. You can disable the option to save your search history in your Google account settings. You can also delete your search history (which is a good idea to protect your online anonymity).
CONVERSATION IS THE NEW SEARCH
Voice search is now a popular way to search for information online. However, if you conduct voice searches from an Android device, Google saves your voice commands. Unfortunately, there is no option to prevent Google from saving your voice commands. Therefore, you must use voice commands cautiously and remember that they aren’t private.
DO YOU VPN?
Finally, if you use the Google search engine, Chrome browser, or any Android device, the tech giant can find out where you are at (even if you turn off the option to share your location data) by using a device identifier. For example, Google can still use your IP address to track your location. Luckily, you can hide your location by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to browse the internet. You can learn more about VPN services by researching them online.
In short, cybersecurity experts claim that Google collects data from all its users. When you register a Google account (like Gmail or Google Plus), you must give personal information to register an account. Third-party advertisers can buy your personal information from Google. Also, Google will save all of your emails (if you use Gmail), as well as your internet search history, if you don’t disable the option in your Google account. Remember that Google collects all voice commands used to query online information from the search engine. Lastly, Google can use your IP address to track your location, so you should use a reputable VPN to browse the internet.