Following the major changes by most of this big-head internet companies, it seems that most of their changes, even when they announce are at the best interest of consumers, were created to leverage commercial users more data with which they can better target their adverts. The Consumers Union confirms this and further warns consumers that such approach will only help Google create more detailed and intrusive profile on them.
Should We Avoid Using Google Products?
That’s probably the worst response, and almost impossible to do. If you don’t use Google mail, and you don’t use Google calendar, can you also stay away from the now popular Google+ and their Search product which receives about a billion searches a day? There are Google products that obviously help us in brand marketing. The truth is, at some point you may still meet face to face with one of Google’s products, which stretches across several internet platforms, including a dating site, Orkut. On the other hand, if you run an online business, sell digital products on the make money niche or other communication-hungry niches, run a blog or just conduct any profit-oriented activity on the internet, chances are, you will sure use one of Google’s products someday.
Sounds Good, What Should I Do?
So how do you protect yourself from Google’s hunger for personal data? Don’t get this wrong. Anti-virus and internet protection software will do little to save you from the bots that Google consistently unleash to accomplish their commercial goals. If you are worried about Google’s kingship over your internet activities, here are four things you should do.
• You mustn’t sign in
Google can easily follow you around on the internet when you are signed in on any of their services. So if you want to reduce this, you can choose to sign out before using some of their services like Search or Maps which doesn’t require users to sign in.
• Set your browser to protect you
The latest versions of most of the major browsers now feature a unique secure mode called “stealth mode”, which deletes tracking files from any website you visited and blocks your activities from being recorded in the browser history. If you are using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, this mode is called “InPrivate Browsing,”, on Firefox and Safari, it is called “Private Browsing,” and on Google Chrome, it is called “new incognito window”. Activating this on your browser will help provide you some privacy.
• Make use of Google’s privacy tools
Go through the Google’s privacy tools page and follow their guidelines to make use of the little control they still left in your hands concerning what they know about you, and how they can use this information to treat your online activities.
• Use another account
Most people are not comfortable mixing their professional life with their personal life. And guess what, once you are signed in on Google products to either use their research tools or to build your brand online, there is no way of distinguishing this and everything records on your single profile. So to at least keep your personal records different, you can create a different account for your business activities and then another for your personal life activities; like a G+ page, YouTube channels, etc.
On the other hand, you can alternatively use another company. Google is not the only search provider and if you look well, you may find a couple of other alternatives for other products too. For instance, Yahoo is there for your search and free email services.