How To: Use Google's New Privacy Tools to Stop Them from Tracking You

Use Google's New Privacy Tools to Stop Them from Tracking You

I'm sure everyone has heard about Google's changing privacy policy on March 1. It's scattered everywhere, with notification bubbles on Google Search, YouTube, and the rest of their products. Click here to see the new privacy policy that will take effect on March 1, 2012.

What is the difference between the policies? 

Much has stayed the same, a part from one small factor that has raised some serious privacy concerns. The difference is that the new one is able to track you across all of Google's products. For example, in the past, you could do a Google search on "herpes" and ads would only pop up on Google Search about that query. Usually, these ads did not track you down on other Google products. You wouldn't see some big banner on YouTube about herpes. But it all has changed.

When the new policy takes effect on March 1, whatever you do on Google will be tracked across all of its services to give you "more relevant ads". But what this really does is cause privacy issues.

Preventing Google from Tracking You

So, what actions can you take to prevent Google from tracking you? The bright side—many!

You could give up all of Google's products and switch to alternatives. You could partially give up Google; you might need Google for services such as Gmail and YouTube, but you could use a different search engine or another video hosting site. Give DuckDuckGo a try! You could also install AdBlock Plus on Firefox or Google Chrome.

How to Use Google's New Privacy Tools to Stop Them from Tracking You

Don't want to switch? Then let's dig into Google's privacy settings a little. It won't block it entirely, but it will greatly improve your privacy.

How to Turn Off YouTube's Search History (New)

This is a new feature YouTube has put in place. It is now possible to turn off the search history so that people do not know what you've been watching.

The first step is to log onto YouTube. Then, please select the following:

  1. Your username ->
  2. Settings ->
  3. Video Manager ->
  4. Search History ->
  5. Pause search history (if you have recent search history, you may want to clear it)

How to Use Google's New Privacy Tools to Stop Them from Tracking You

Furthermore, to prevent YouTube from providing you with relevant advertisements, select the following:

  1. Your username ->
  2. Settings ->
  3. Privacy ->
  4. Un-check "Please use my account information to provide me with relevant advertising"

How to Disable Google's Web History

This one is one of the most important steps. It is also a good idea to make sure this is disabled on a regular basis. It's a perfect way for someone to spy on you and see what you are up to—so be sure to set a strong password.

To disable Google's Web-History, navigate to this link. Ensure you are logged into your account, then take a quick look at what Google knows about you, then click on "Remove all Web History".

How to Use Google's New Privacy Tools to Stop Them from Tracking You

Also, make sure your Web History is "Paused".

Well that is the end of this tutorial. Hope you liked it! Here are some interesting links for those curious about what Google knows about you.

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Images by Okko Pyykkö, Gizmodo


Second note: I really like DuckDuckgo now its so neat and simple

It sure is! I have liked DuckDuckGo from day one. I have even received fantastic customer service from them, so I don't have one negative thing to say about DuckDuckGo. Its a great search engine.

Thanks, always wondered what the changes were, but didn't want to have to research it myself! :) I kind of like the idea behind why Google collects so much about you, it could actually enhance your experience. However, I don't like the idea of Google having a database of my entire life in one place or contemplating them sharing it with government agencies, cringe!

Wow, thanks! This is actually extremely helpful!

Great article. I have a question about Google's DNS servers ( & Is it safe to use them considering our privacy?

Thanks. In regards to your DNS question, it all depends on how much you trust Google I suppose and how paranoid you are. If you trust Google enough to use Google Chrome, then I see no reason why you shouldn't use it.

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