Disable, Preserve Your Privacy When Using Google Services

Google’s change in its privacy terms has been cause for concern for many. Google also responded to the widespread outcry over this by suggesting that you don’t sign in to your Google Account if you have privacy concerns:

You don’t need to sign in to use most of our services, including Search, Maps, and YouTube. If you’re signed in, you can still edit or turn off your search history, toggle Gmail chat to “off the record,” control how Google tailors ads to your interests, use incognito mode on Chrome, or use the one of the other tools we offer, says Google. You can use as much or as little Google as you want. For example, you can have a Google account and choose to use Gmail, but not Google+. Or you can keep your data separate with different accounts, for example, one for YouTube and another for Gmail.

Prevent Google from tracking your activities

While you can still use a browser like Browzar to surf the web privately, there are also a few steps you can take if you want to continue using your existing browsers while remaining private, as far as possible. To do this, you will need to sign in to your Google account and change a few settings.

Lily: Find out what Google knows about you.

Disable search personalization

Google tries to personalize your search results based on your past searches on Google by using cookies. This search history customization includes the searches you’ve performed and the links you’ve clicked. If you clicked on links from a particular site more often, you may see links from that site more often.

To turn off search personalization, visit this page which allows you to pause and delete your web history from your Google account. Here you will also see a list of all your previous searches.

If you click Pause, your web tracking will be paused, but your web history will not be cleared. So check the box and click Delete all web history.

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Confirm with OK. This will pause and delete your web history.

Point: Use Google’s privacy setup wizard to strengthen your settings.

Disable personalized results

You can also disable personalized results. This will also disable other personalization features. If that doesn’t matter to you much, you might want to turn it off. To do this, open your search settings.

search settings

In the “Search plus Your World” section, select “Do not use personal results”. Click Save.

personal results

Searches that are part of Search plus Your World, such as Google+ results shared by your friends, Picasa albums, Google products, search history, will no longer appear in your search results.

UPDATE: Google is making it easier to access privacy controls.

Opting out of ad personalization

Google actually crawls your email to show you targeted ads, based on what you write in your email. You can opt out of ad personalization using the Preferences page. Visit this page withdraw from Interest-Based Ads. Note that you must opt out of two types of announcements.

Refusal to Search and Gmail announcements:

opt-out ads

Disable Web Ads:
opt out web ads

After deactivation, you will still see relevant advertisements, but Google will not use additional information to personalize these advertisements on Google Search and Gmail.

Watch the Ads Preferences Manager video.

Point: Google Privacy Checkup Tool will boost your privacy and make your online accounts safer.

Turn off Gmail chat history

Google stores all your chat logs. But you can opt for Gmail chat history. Those chats that have been removed from the record are not stored in your Gmail chat history, or in your contact’s Gmail chat history.

cat off

To take a private conversation in Gmail and iGoogleand prevent Google from recording their logs, click the Options link at the bottom of the chat window and select Go of the record.

Disable Google Analytics

Many websites, including this one, use Google Analytics to track web traffic and related statistics. But if you wish, you can disable the websites recording your visits. You can use the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on for this purpose.

analytics opt out

This plug-in works on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. The add-on communicates with the Google Analytics JavaScript to indicate that website visit information should not be sent to Google Analytics.

Disable YouTube

You can also choose to have Google track your YouTube video searches, targeted ads, and viewing habits. To do this, log in to your YouTube account and click on the Videos tab. Next, click History and check the box and click Clear all viewing history.

youtube history

Next, click on Search History. Here, select Pause History. You can also check the box and click Clear all search history.

ut hist 2

You can also click on your Settings and click on Privacy.


Then uncheck the Thank you for using my account to offer me relevant advertising check the box and click Save Changes. This will prevent Google from tracking you and showing you relevant ads.

To withdraw from YouTube posts and video sharing go here.

Google Shared Recommendations

Shared Recommendations pulls your G+1s, YouTube Likes, and reviews from Google Maps and GooglePlay, then turns them into ads for your connections. Opt out go here and uncheck the box “Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile picture in shared recommendations that appear in ads”.

If you need to undo any of the changes made to your Google Account at any time, you can do so by re-enabling the feature(s).

You can use Internet Explorer in In private fashion, Chrome in Incognito, etc. by clearing your, to prevent your browser from saving cookies and browsing history. In any case, you can also try clearing your cookies more often, especially before using Google.

Google offers several privacy and opt-out toolsand you can check them all, here. You can also check out some online safety and privacy tips on the Google Good To Know website.

I’m sure there may be more settings where you can opt out to try to maintain your privacy when using Google services. If you know of any others, please share them here for the benefit of others.

This article will show you how to completely opt out of data tracking and targeted advertising on the Internet.


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