How to See Everything Google Secretly Knows About You

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Have you ever noticed how, when you visit certain websites, the advertisements that are often plastered about the page seem to be conspicuously attempting to sell you something that — perhaps at some point in time — you were investigating?

Kind of funny how that happens, right? It’s almost like the internet knows you intimately, or perhaps that your computer is spying on your every waking web search — mysteriously seeking for any opportunity to lure you (and possibly your wallet) back for a second look.

Well, believe it or not, there’s actually a pretty simple explanation for why that happens, folks — and it’s known as none other than Google. Yes, that’s right — Google, the Mountain View, California, search giant.

“But how??” you might be wondering. “Why won’t they just leave me alone!”

Okay, well, first of all, it’s not particularly a bad thing that Google presents you with advertisements that are catered to your specific interests, right? I mean, after all, that’s their business, at its core. Besides, Google actually knows a lot more about you than just what you’re interested in, or what you might consider buying.

That’s because, when you sign up for one or all of Google’s many services — such as Gmail, Drive, YouTube or Maps — you’re essentially making a trade-off with them. In exchange for your personal information, the company will allow you to utilize it’s vast portfolio of valuable services, free of charge.

It’s a pretty good deal, all variables considered, we’d say; but what if you wanted to know what Google does? What if, for some reason, you wanted see the information that the company is collecting as you scurry about the web?

Well, fortunately, now you can, but it won’t necessarily be a walk in the park to do so. To start, you can visit a page on Google’s website called ‘Web & App Activity’ — from which you’ll be able to see your activity from Google’s point of view. Taking a dive even deeper, you can then access a separate page called ‘Ads Settings’ — whereat you can see both what Google knows about you, as well as tweak settings related to what the company discloses about you to advertisers.

So, how do you do all of this? Well, first of all, you’ll have to ensure that you’re logged into Google as you normally would. Once you’ve done that, you can then visit this webpage, and finally, click on “all time”


This will present you with a long (very, very long) list of webpages you’ve visited in the past — essentially your entire web search activity to date. And while you can always delete those pages, one-at-a-time, that will likely take you longer than you’re willing to sit there and do so. Therefore, instead, you can simply click ‘Today’ and delete information by the day.

Google Privacy

Alternatively, you can delete everything — perhaps even years worth of saved data — in one clean sweep. To do this, you’ll have to navigate back to the original ‘Web & Activity’ page, at which point you should click on the three small dots icon located in the upper right-hand corned of the page, then click on Delete Options > Advanced > and then > All Time.


With your saved web search data now cleared, you can then shift your focus to all of Google’s other services — such as Maps, YouTube, etc — by selecting the Menu icon from the to left-hand corner of the screen, which will reveal a short list of these services as shown below.

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You can also delete your previous location data collected by Google Maps — which includes where you’ve traveled, by selecting Location History from the previous list of services. This should present you with a Map, as shown below, from which you can select the Settings icon in the lower eight-hand corner of the screen.


From this sub-menu, you can then select “Delete All Location History.”


In addition to cleaning your search history and activity using Google’s many other services, you can also explore exactly what the company has shared with advertisers about you. To do this, simply navigate to the standard Google home screen > select your account icon > and then select My Account.


Once this action takes you back to your account settings page, you can select Activity controls — which lets you explore all the information Google accumulates about you. To manage what types of advertisements Google sends your way, you can select “Ads settings” > scroll down and click on “Manage ad settings.”

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Keep in mind: as you go about deleting all of this information, Google will repeatedly present you with a pop-up notification (as shown below), which is basically intended to verify if you really, really want to delete it. Google obviously doesn’t want that, because their business is largely dependent on effective advertising.


However, so long as you use the internet, the saved data will continue to accumulate, regardless; so whether you delete it all, or not, is entirely up to you, and you won’t suffer any repercussions either way. We promise!

Has this information changed your perspective on Google or internet usage as a whole?
Let us know in the comments below.

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