What Does Google Know About You?
Can you imagine your life without the internet? Hardly so! We also bet you fall into those millions of users who resort to Google services on a daily basis. People use it for search requests, email correspondence, data sharing etc. etc. Well, this piece should certainly be interesting for you.
Nowadays, people all over the world spend twice as much time online, compared to 10 years ago. The amount of data uploaded to the internet grows at an incredible speed. It is a never-ending flow of information, such as locations, family photos, plans for tonight etc. that we share about ourselves via social media sites.
This is a great opportunity for Google to collect more than 20 petabytes of data every day, which is used to target commercial offers at us. For this internet giant, every minute means tons of new letters sent through Gmail and thousands of new videos uploaded to YouTube. Want to learn more about this? Let’s take a deeper look at the interesting stats on what happens in Google world in a single minute.
Impressive figures, don’t you find? And one of the main reasons of such a success is the ability to use Google services at no cost. But that “free candy” collects a vast number of users’ private data. Let’s find out how Google gathers it to make pop-up advertising more relevant to interests of online audience.
3 ways how Google collects your data
When you use Google services, you allow them to learn any required information about you, such as your tastes, preferences in clothes and food, places you like to visit, etc. Based on this knowledge, Google shows you relevant contextual ads.
Below we’ve grouped the main sources of such data collection, and what private data hackers can get hold of (if they manage to break into your Google account).
While sending letters, 425 million Gmail users have no idea about the risks of fraud, data manipulation, and identity theft. The most common techniques which cyber criminals use to hack passwords are phishing and brute force attacks.
Getting hold of passwords, hackers gain users’ contacts in address book, network accounts, sensitive data, and private correspondence. Moreover, they run programs that enter stolen usernames and passwords on thousands of websites until one hits. It gives an opportunity for scammers to send letters on behalf of a victim. Additionally, having logged in, they can change the password, and lock access to users’ Gmail.
The risk gets more increased if we talk about search queries and web history that sync across multiple gadgets. According to Aaron Titus, Identity Finder’s Chief Privacy Officer and General Counsel, “Any time information is automatically and seamlessly shared between devices, there is a danger that some of the information was not intended to be shared with another device.”
Furthermore, In August 2017, one popular and widely used extension for Chrome, Web Developer, was hijacked because of the phishing attack. The cyber criminals then uploaded the infected extension, which flooded websites with ads.
Google pleased smartphone users all over the world with a free navigation app, Google Maps. It’s too early to celebrate! There are some features, which can threaten your online security. First of all, it will propose you to log in to your Google account and type your home address for better routing. Also, adding geotags of the places you visit, you give hackers, who succeeded in accessing your account, an opportunity to be fully acquainted with your location data. Now they can create a comprehensive picture of your interests, habits, and preferences.
How to reduce data collection
With this background, a quote from a well-known song by The Police comes to mind, which sounds like Google’s slogan: “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.” In fact, it seems that this internet giant, like Big Brother, wants to know who you are, what your address is, where you are now, and where you are going to be after.
Unfortunately, there isn’t the only right way to avoid your data collection from the all-seeing eye of Google. First of all, you can control what activities are tracked and saved by Google. Go to your Google Account settings to change, view, or delete activities that you don’t want to be recorded.
How to protect your data
Ok, you know how much data is collected and how to manage that (to the possible extent). But how can you make your private data secure and inaccessible for third parties? For that, use a reliable VPN service, like KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. It isn’t a magic bullet, but it offers you the privacy measures, which will prevent hackers from grabbing and snatching your personal information.
Download VPN Unlimited to set up a constantly encrypted communication with friends, colleagues, or relatives and enjoy your web security.
Another option – use VPN browser extension
In case you do not wish to install a desktop app or need only browser traffic to be shielded by VPN, there is a great solution – Google VPN extension. Download the add-on, log in, connect to a VPN server, and viola, your data is protected with a military-grade encryption technology. As easy as that!