You probably use a lot of services from Google. Google probably knows more about you than you think it does.
There’s a good chance you have a Gmail account. If you do, Google is reading your email to find out what you’re interested in. It stores what it thinks you’re interested in and builds a more and more complete profile of you over time.
You search for things on the web. When you do this you probably use Google. When you do, Google saves your searches so it can find out what you’re interested in. It stores the list of things you search for on the web.
If you use Google Maps for anything at all Google asks for your location. Google saves your location so it can find out where you go. It stores the list of places you’ve been and when you went there.
If you have an Android phone Google knows even more about you. It knows what apps you have installed on your phone and who your friends are. It knows when you open and close each of these apps. It knows where you are all the time your phone is switched on. It knows when you switch your phone off. It can very accurately guess where you live and work.
Google provides some tools to allow you extra control over your privacy. These tools aren’t very extensive because that would mess up Google’s business, which involves selling your profile to advertisers. The more detailed a profile Google has of you as an individual, your interests and movements the more Google can charge an advertiser to show you an ad. Yes, it really is that simple.
To have a look at the information Google will ‘fess up to knowing about you, go to myactivity.google.com while you’re logged in to your Google account.
There will be plenty of tips and tools to decrease the influence of Google’s snooping later on in this kit, should you want to. For now just be aware of all the crumbs of information Google is constantly hoovering up about you.