Ensure Digital Privacy on Google with These Steps

Ensure Digital Privacy on Google with These Steps

Google is a search engine that leverages customers’ data.

It uses the details of customers’ online activities to target them with ads, create new services around their needs, develop algorithms to help deliver quantifiable data to businesses, and perform other business analytics functions.

It's impossible to completely avoid Google’s data tracking when you are online. However, you can set some limits on how Google collects and uses your data.

To begin with, you can take advantage of Google's privacy settings. In addition, you can use some external tools to bolster your privacy.

In this article, you will find some easy-to-do hacks to your browser settings, that may seem small and insignificant, but can prove to be of huge help in protecting your online presence.

  • Use Incognito Mode:

Browsing in incognito mode is the easiest way to protect your privacy. An incognito mode disables the browsing history and the web cache in some web browsers.

When you go incognito, you can browse the web freely without allowing your device, mobile or computer, to store any local data, i.e., no browsing history or passwords. Any site data and the cookies associated with it are discarded when you close the incognito window. Chrome cannot tell websites, or even Google itself, that you are browsing in private mode.

  • Delete Browsing History & Cache:

Every day, you access a wide variety of sites on your browser, including social, online banking, online purchases, etc. Over time, your browser tends to get jammed with a lot of held information, which can cause speed and loading problems when trying to access websites or when logging in.

Cleaning your history, cache files and cookies frequently then is a great idea. Not only does it make your privacy settings more secure, but boosts your browser’s performance as well.

However, don’t forget to save your important login information and passwords before clearing out the data as they all will be deleted along with the browsing history.

  • Use a Two-Factor Authentication:

We all know that Gmail stores personal information, passwords, login activities, and other sensitive files. If, unfortunately, your account gets hacked, it can lead to your information leaking out to bad actors within a matter of seconds.

Passwords, sometimes are not enough to protect your Gmail account, especially if someone close to you can figure them out.

A smarter approach is to enable a two-factor authentication on all your Google as well as other personal accounts. If at any given time, someone tries to login into your account from a different device, you will be notified on your phone.

Considering that everyone has their phone on their person at all times these days, only you are, therefore, in charge of granting access to your accounts on other devices.

  • Turn-Off Auto Sync:

Google sync is one of Chrome’s most prominent features, yet represents a potential threat of data leakage. Having auto-sync turned on means getting the same interface, settings, passwords, or other data permissions on all of your Google accounts, across all your devices: desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

However, Google stores this information on its online server, which means it can share it with third parties.

If you want to protect your privacy, you can turn off the auto-sync by going to

Settings> You and Google> Turn on/off sync…

It's likely the auto-sync would be turned on if you used your Google credentials. You can either pause it or turn it off completely.

You can use Google Sync & Services to get a little more precise about your settings. From there, you can disable all options related to syncing of browsing data, searching, and sending activity statistics to Google.

  • Disallow Apps Permission:

Similar to the smartphones, apps, games, and extensions on the browser, Google Chrome can request access to various items on your phone, such as camera, microphone, or location. One way of checking it is to go to settings and check apps permissions for Chrome.

You are notified whenever a website asks for your permission by default in Google Chrome. You can then choose whether to grant or deny permission.

Eventually, the websites you visit frequently develop the "Allowed" and "Prohibited" tags. If you trust a webpage or extension, you can always change your settings later.

  • Disable Interest-based Ads:

Google tracks your browsing, searching, and purchasing activities to give you a personalized ads experience. They track everything you do online, and from the data they can gather about you, they build your own unique profile, updated with your own unique interests, so that you can be targeted for relevant ads.

Though it may sound like Google is trying to help you by putting ads in front of you about services or products that you might need, most of the ads, however, are annoying and may promote cheap brands.

Google gives you the option to disable those ads, hence, you can opt out from the experience of viewing them on your device at any time.

If you are using an android phone, you can go to

Settings > Google > Ads

and then select Opt Out of Ads Personalization.

For iPhone, go to

Settings > Privacy > Advertisement

and then select Limit Ad Tracking.

  • Decline 3rd Party Cookies:

Internet cookies serve as a means to provide visitors with a customized experience by saving login information or checking past activities on a website. Even though internet cookies were created for good reasons, they’ve now come to be used for a variety of other reasons - and not all of them are ethical.

Hackers can easily access your cookies and extract your personal information. A simple way to protect your cookies is to decline the Save Cookies option when you land on a website.

Though it may prevent some relevant ads from showing up, but you can at least rest assured that your sensitive data is saved from landing into the hands of hackers.

  • Block Auto-complete Forms:

Chrome shows you an option to auto-save your information like Gmail ID, password, address, and contact details when you are filling out a form. Though it may seem like a time-saving feature where you don’t have to fill out the same detail each time for every website, it should be a major privacy concern for you.

Some of the forms also collect your credit and debit-card information, making your financial accounts susceptible to hackers.

Next time, whenever you are asked to save your information for an auto-fill form, decline it. This may not save you 5-minutes of your time, but you will get to protect sensitive data, including your bank details.

  • Turn Off Location Tracking:

When you take photos with your smartphone, the geotag can also record your location. The location metadata is not visible when viewing photos, but is stored within photo editing apps and even in advanced properties section.

The GPS information is then sent along with the photos when you hit publish or upload to web from your smartphones or tablets.

However, you can overcome this problem by disabling the location service for the Camera to prevent it from capturing your location information.

All you have to do is to go to

Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > and turn it off.

Wrap Up:

Regardless of whether you are an individual or a business, protecting sensitive information on Google has become an imperative, especially in an environment where our data is mined to serve interests, good or bad, of others. Though protecting your data online may seem complex from afar, but given that you take your privacy seriously enough, these steps can go a long way in ensuring that your data doesn’t fall into the hands of people with the wrong intentions.

Posted by inGenium Ltd

inGenium Ltd

iNGENIUM Ltd. is an software development company from EU which delivers a full range of custom .NET, web and mobile solutions for different business to meet partner's demand.

The Power of Imagination Makes Us Infinite

Related Posts


comments powered by Disqus