Google’s privacy rules change March 1, and you know what that means. Starting Thursday, you won’t be able to search for Captain & Tennille lyrics without being spammed relentlessly about where to buy a muskrat fur coat.
Thus, if you send your buddy Bob a Gmail about how much you enjoyed test driving a new Mazda, you may start seeing more car ads when you log onto YouTube. In this example, before the changes you’d have only seen personalized new cars ads when using Gmail.
Personally, I am not freaked out by the amount of information Google and everyone else is compiling. Netflix knows what I like to watch on TV and suggests other shows I might like. I’ve found that useful. Amazon knows I like books about how not to get fired, and offers similar titles whenever I log on. Handy!
Fortunately for the paranoid, Google offers ways to prevent the gleaning of much information. Users can log onto the Google Dashboard to tweak privacy and other settings.
Some useful things to do are:
and, here’s the biggie …
Unfortunately, your browser may continue tracking your web activity. Those who want more privacy should check out Google Chrome’s “Incognito Mode.”
Looking for even MORE privacy?
I’d suggest never logging onto the Internet again. But remember, even Thoreau only enjoyed his “Life in the Woods” for about two years before moving back to a big city.
Maybe privacy wasn’t what he, or anyone else, is really looking for.