How to Find Out and Manage What Google Knows About You
Google provides some of the best tools for searching the Internet, managing your email, writing documents, keeping track of your calendar, and watching web videos. Millions of people use these tools every day. And Google keeps track of everything you do.
Tracking data about how you use the Internet can be a good thing. It allows the company to customize and personalize your experience. This personalized data should also be something you have the ability to see and manage.
Google has recently launched a new dashboard that consolidates the data it has on you into an easy-to-use interface that allows you to find, browse through, and delete your digital history with the company. This dashboard provides you with more control and transparency over the information Google has collected. You can find your search history, location timeline, Google services you use — such as Gmail, YouTube, or Google Drive — along with a lot of other details.
The amount of data collected about you may be a bit alarming. You should always weigh the potential personalization benefits that the data collected about you provides against the cost of losing some privacy.
To see your information, head to the Google dashboard. Even if you are already signed into your Google account, you will need to enter your password again.
You can view information and/or edit the settings for a particular account simply by clicking the name of the product. You can also see your most recent activity on the product, such as the last email you read in the Gmail section or the last search you did in the Web & App Activity section.
Some products (your Google account, Calendar, Web & App Activity, YouTube) will also include a summary of how you used that product over the last 28 days. For example, if you use Google Calendar, you can see whom you met most over the last four weeks.
To help protect your Google account, you should review your recent activity to make sure you remember taking the actions listed. You can sign up to receive a monthly email reminder to visit your dashboard by just clicking on the checkbox provided under the “Personal info & privacy” section.
Making an informed decision about how data collected about you is used is a great first step in helping protect your privacy.
What steps do you take to manage your online information? Let me know.