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Everywhere you’ve gone

Everywhere you’ve gone
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Google keeps track of your location history – as reported by your mobile device (assuming your ‘location’ is on), according to Rami Yermiya, a cybersecurity expert. Check out your location history at your Google Maps Timeline, and you’ll see how comprehensive it actually is. Don’t enjoy feeling like you’re being tracked? You can change your settings here, as well as delete your location history, however, law enforcement can still subpoena your location history, meaning, essentially: you even if you delete it, it’s not really gone. However, there is an easy way to see and delete all of your Google activity.

Don’t miss these fascinating things captured by Google Earth.

Everywhere you’re going

Everywhere you’re going
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When you Google ‘my flights,’ you’ll get a list of all your upcoming air travel plans. According to Yermiya, this info is pulled from your emails, which makes it even creepier. Google isn’t the only technology that is invading your privacy. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do about it if you’re buying tickets online and using Gmail as your point of contact. And that brings us to…

Check out these unplanned travel mishaps you’ll never forget.

The contents of all your emails

The contents of all your emails
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If you use Gmail, then Google is going to have access to the contents of your emails. There’s not much you can do about this (except deleting your Gmail account), but you can tell Google not to use your Gmails to target you for advertisements. Check your Google Ad Settings and you’ll have the option to turn off your ‘ads personalisation,’ Yermiya advises. Note that doing so won’t turn off all advertisements and won’t stop Google from collecting your info. Turning off ‘ads personalisation’ won’t stop Google from learning about you via any other information you allow them access to. But it will keep them from accessing your profile! So consider carefully before you click to ‘OFF.’

Before you hit ‘Unsubscribe’ on unwanted emails, read this first.

Your approximate age

Your approximate age
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If you haven’t turned off ‘ads personalisation’ in your Google Ad Settings, you can scroll down to see the dossier (er, ‘profile’) Google’s put together on you. The first thing that pops up is their guess at your age range and sex. It’s Google’s guesstimate, based on the information they’ve collected about you.

Every single site you’ve visited

Every single site you’ve visited
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If you check out Google’s My Activity page, you can see a historic timeline of your web activity…as in, every website you’ve visited. It’s kind of shocking to see it laid out like that (and it’s accurate to the very minute!). At least Google promises that only you have access to this information (assuming that you, as opposed to someone else in your house…or your office…isn’t the one checking your Google Activity right now). Also, you can delete your history (on the left hand side of the page, click on ‘Delete activity by’).

Find out how to delete yourself from google searches here.

Including your favourite shopping sites

Including your favourite shopping sites
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Actually…make that all the shopping sites you visit. You can search your site history by filtering ‘shopping’ to see and delete your history. Or, if you click ‘Other Google Activity’ on the left-hand side, it’ll take you to a whole list of other things Google knows about you based on your online decisions. You can view and delete your ‘product price tracking’ and ‘Google Shopping order activity.’

Don’t fall for these sneaky ways online retailers get you to spend more.

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And your hobbies and interests

And your hobbies and interests
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In that big old ‘Other Google Activity’ list you’ll be able to see (and delete!) what Google thinks it knows about your hobbies and interests. This can range from football to cooking to pets. Of course, Google uses all that information to suggest search results and products that you might like, which can be useful, but they also use it to target advertising (and make billions doing so).

Your phone number

Your phone number
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On the left-hand side of the My Activity screen, if you click on ‘My Account,’ you’ll be taken to your Account Screen. In the middle column of that page, click on, ‘Your Personal Info,’ and you’ll see precisely that: all your personal info, including your phone number. You might even have entered it into your Google Account yourself way back when. However, if you don’t want Google to have your number, click on the right-arrow, and you’ll have the option to delete it.

Don’t miss these smartphone security tips for everything you need to know to keep your phone safe.

Everything you search for on Google

Everything you search for on Google
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At the centre of the My Activity screen, you will see a box with the heading, ‘Visited: Google – My Activity.”’ And it’s precisely what you’re worried it might be: a list of every single Google search you’ve done. You can delete your search history by left-clicking on the three dots at the right-hand corner of the box. You’ll be given a choice of ‘delete’ or ‘details.’

Here are the things you should never Google.

Your YouTube history

Your YouTube history
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From My Activity, go back into Other Google Activity (remember, it’s on the left hand side of the page). Right at the top, you’ll see a number of YouTube-related headings. These include your YouTube comments, your YouTube Community Post comments, your YouTube survey answers, and even your YouTube ‘Not Interested’ feedback. The word ‘delete’ features prominently below these headings, and you may wish to do just that.

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