How To Hide Your Web History From Google

. 2/29/12

Google’s new privacy policy comes into operation tomorrow. Now most of us probably didn’t read the first draft when we signed up for Gmail. But it’s time that we read Google’s new privacy policy, partly because we use a number of Google products ranging from search to mail to Chrome to YouTube, and mostly because the policy aims at collecting information about Google users and is across its products. You can view the entire policy for your Google account by clicking on this link.

Microsoft which is on the war path with Google has already launched a complaint with EU regulators against Google’s new social networking site, Google +. This is probably because Google’s new search policy means that links which get a plus are likely to feature more prominently in search results.

For example if your friend clicked plus on a link it’s likely to feature in your results since Google + is now an integral part of search. The Google-advertiser nexus, is also quite annoying for the average Gmail user. But what is clear is that information you give to Google profile is riddled with privacy loopholes.

For those who are really paranoid about how Google is using your information, there is the option of going off the grid, which is basically, press delete, delete as many times as possible, then swear you’ll never use Google search, or YouTube again. And while you’re frantically deleting your Internet history, don’t forget to flush your Android down the toilet. For the rest of us who wish to use Google without giving out information that we don’t want to, here are two steps you can take.

PC World  has a detailed post on how to take your privacy a bit more seriously. First and foremost go to your Google account settings and disable your web search history. For detailed steps on how to go about doing this, click on this link. It’s probably the most important step you can take to ensure that you what search for online doesn’t stay with Google. It might seem trivial that Google is collecting your search data, but it matters because it reveals a lot about user interests, preferences, political orientations, etc.

Some of this might not be information you want to share with the world and it’s perfectly legitimate to regulate this. The other big major step to take is go to the Google.com/dashboard. You can log with your account and see all the information that Google has related to your account, which is linked to all the products you use. The dashboard will let you change your privacy settings for each Google product. If you’ve never used this before you might see that nearly everything you put out is public and it’s probably best to change that option.

Yes Google has informed us well in advance of the change in it’s privacy policy. The policy is obviously going to be subject to some serious scrutiny in the coming days, but as users we can control to some extent what information is going out publicly.

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