Google has been accused in the past of abusing data harvesting and user privacy. While they have gotten a little better, the sad truth is that they still do it. Fortunately, however, you can put a stop to their tracking very easily, it only takes a couple of minutes! Finally, you can browse the web without thinking “Did Google see that?”

 

If you use Google Chrome, open a new tab and click the grid in the top-right, to the left of your profile picture. then click My Account.Capture

If you use another browser, go to myaccount.google.com and sign in with your Google Account if necessary. You will be greeted with this page:

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Scroll down until you find the Privacy Checkup button

 

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Hit “Get Started”

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I hope you can guess what to click.

It’s a pretty straightforward from there. Don’t worry about your services getting “paused”, that’s just Google language for “Stop”.  Once you get to “Make ads more relevant to you”, click “Manage your ad settings”, and you will be transported to the below image. It opens in a new tab, so don’t worry about cutting your checkup short.Capture

As you can see, everything is greyed out, because I switched this off the day I created my account. You can probably also see that it’s just a matter of flipping one little switch. But before you do, consider if you really want to turn it off. Especially if you’re a minor (under 18), you may want to set everything to Unknown, EXCEPT your age. There are some SHOCKINGLY mature (by which I mean Completely disgusting) ads on the web. Just look at this poor

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So that’s just something that could happen. Once you’ve edited it to your liking, close the tab and go back to your checkup. If you click Next, you’ll get a nice little checklist of what you reviewed. But Hang on, there’s still one more thing you need to do. Even though you told Google to stop RECORDING data, but you never told it to delete the data it ALREADY recorded. To do this, go back to the account home page, and scroll down to My Activity and click “Go to My Activity.” Once here, click the Hamburger menu, which is the three dots, one on top of the other, just to the left of the Google Services grid in the top bar.

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Now, click “Delete Activity By, and click “All Time.”

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Success! Google now knows almost nothing about your browsing activities! Enjoy your next leap in your privacy on the net!

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