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Hey Google, Random Fake Searches Help You Stay A Bit Stealthy Online. Protecting Your Privacy

Five "fake" internet searches- sounds strange at first but this easy tip will help you keep your private life a tad more mysterious to those compiling a digital dossier on YOU!. Your browser, your search engine and the sites you visit via tracking cookies, can and do learn about you so they can Sell or Advertise to You. No doubt you've noticed it. Something you emailed, scrolled or shopped for ends up in your FB or Instagram Feed or perhaps in an email.

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 Google Just Wants To KNOW You--And They Do

And that's just part of it. If you want to see how incredibly detailed the information Google has on you, what you like, what you're searching for online, what you're watching--it's all cataloged and you can see it here- if you don't pause your activity: 

https://myactivity.google.com/

This shows your browsing history and your search, your location, what you've liked on YouTube and the posts you've made.

And check this out too:

https://myaccount.google.com

Shows all your personal information and how you can pause some of the above items.

Here's the Setting To See That Google KNOWS What You Bought And When:

https://myaccount.google.com/purchases

The magic of Google Search has gone through purchases, your web history and your email and compiled your purchases. 

What you bought, where you bought it, how much it cost, which credit card you used and where it was shipped.

Make It Stop Google!

Shows all your personal information and how you can pause some of the above items the searches and information from being saved to your Google Account.

https://myaccount.google.com

And even if Google allows you to "turn off" certain settings, it's important to remember that if you have Chrome and Gmail, you are being tracked by them if they show you or not.  Through the use of cookies, beacons and other data tracking.

You can block cookies on Chrome, but check this out: 

It looks like Chrome is saying that there's a tracker on your browser--that each time we download Chrome-there's an individual token, just for our Chrome that tracks promotions--or Google or YouTube ads? Even if cookies are blocked.

Want Less Tracking From Google and Gmail? G-Basics:

Google owns Chrome and YouTube.  Google's reason d'etre - The reason it exists and is so powerful is SEARCH.  You search for what you want and Google gets to show you ads(the one's in the search results) and Google makes money. 

  • Avoid Chrome: If You Use The Chrome Browser,  your search activity and your online browsing activity is automatically, by default shared with Google. 
  • Log Out of Your Google Account If you're logged in to Chrome or using your Google account with Chrome(you'll see your face in the upper right corner) you are linking all the data google knows via your email account and all your online moves.
  • Google owns YouTube, so what you watch is also included in the information Google knows about you.
  • Gmail is not private.  If your company uses the enterprise version of Gmail they have access to all your email and even the words you've typed and deleted.  It follows that any and all gmail accounts are being archived in the same way--and Google has access to all your email data.  Even drafts of emails you never sent, but wrote while on Gmail.

I do not use Chrome. Finally, after a recent national news story, neither does my husband--the Memory issue sealed the deal for him. But for me, it was knowing how Google treated or SAVED all email data. 


So, Simply conducting a few "fake" internet searches everyday-especially logged on to Google, can keep whomever is looking, stalking or recording a bit off track. Seriously, I've been doing this for fun for years and thought it was just my own tiny attempt at guarding my privacy.

I need to share that I'm not the only one who thought this was an interesting strategy, during a dinner conversation with the head of cybersecurity at a very big name in Tech,  I asked what they did personally to protect their privacy.  I was really delighted when I heard they were using the same strategy to "confuse" the algorithm by throwing in fake searches and browsing. 


Have fun reducing the "real" personal information gathered by search engines and cookies. --Make a game of it: pick five random items to google, then click the 1st or the 5th result, scroll it, click on a link--whatever-stealth!

If you're privacy is important to you--and I hope it is, it's important to take small steps to protect it.  
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Our mission is to help you thrive and live a blissful and balanced life by providing the information and resources you need to navigate your way through our Digital Age. It’s more important now, than ever before, to be a conscious consumer. To know how modern tech affects you both in safety and spirit.. Search smarter. And lovelies: watch #thegreathack A

 

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