We all know that Google spies on its users. From its search engine to email messaging service and maps, Google is deeply integrated into our lives. But did you ever think about how much Google really knows about its users?
It not only knows all the places you visit throughout the day, but it also knows your home, based on the location you go to every night. In fact, if you have an Android phone, then Google will detect your phone’s location through nearby public Wi-Fis, even when the phone’s Wi-Fi and GPS are turned off.
You should remember that users are allowed to deactivate all permissions and ask Google not to save historical data. Though, you don’t have control over everything Google knows about you. It will still show you Google Adsense ads based on your demographics or browsing history.
So without further delay, here are some things Google knows about you that you really wish it didn’t.
15. Your current location
This is probably one of the most obvious ones, but when you open Google Maps and activate your phone’s GPS, Google tracks your location. In fact, Google can track your current location from all the devices that are logged into your Google account, and it includes your laptop, phone, and tablets.
In fact, what you might not know is that Google has tied up with Skyhook Wireless to detect the location of Android devices through nearby public Wi-Fis, even when the phone’s Wi-Fi is off.
14. Your age
You can try and lie about your age to Google if you want, but it will still find a way to estimate your age.
Google uses your interests and types of websites you usually search to estimate your age. Of course, it might not be exactly right, but that doesn’t stop Google from giving an estimate. For instance, if you are the 14-year-old boy who is very into DIY art and healthy eating pin boards on Pinterest, then Google may automatically put you in the 30+ housewife slot.
If you too want to know what age slot Google has put you into, just check here.
13. Everything you search online
Google knows your entire search history, and we are not even exaggerating it. Everything that you have ever typed into the Google search box and hit enter has been forever saved by Google. Whether it’s embarrassing celebrity gossip or cat videos, Google knows it all.
Don’t believe us? Check the My Activity section of your Google account and go through your entire search history from today to the day you opened your account. Yes, we know it will be brutal, but it’s etched in Google’s memory forever, quite literally.
12. All the voice commands you have ever given
Whether you have used the new Google Assistant or the voice command for Google search, Google keeps copies of your voice on record. Yes, it’s creepy, but that doesn’t stop Google from doing it. All in all, every time you hit that mic button on a Google service, the audio is automatically saved on Google’s server, whether it’s Search, Google Docs, Gmail, or anything else.
11. Your YouTube searches
How many times has YouTube distracted you from work? It starts with a simple and harmless video that has been going viral for the last 24 hours and ends 2 hours later with you watching cat videos.
You can try to deny it, but we have all watched some embarrassing videos on YouTube. Google doesn’t just list out all the videos you have ever seen but also generates monthly analytics. So you can actually see how many YouTube videos you have watched month after month. Just go over to your account’s dashboard and tap on YouTube.
10. Whatever you search on Mozilla Firefox
One of the major reasons why most users opt for Mozilla Firefox is so that they can get away from the ugly wrath of Google. If you too are a Firefox user, then here is some news for you – Mozilla Firefox gets paid 85% of their entire $163 million annual income by Google just to make Google search their default search engine. Safari uses Google’s Blacklist service to check for the safety of any website that you visit.
9. Your home and your workplace
By now you already know that Google is tracking your every move, so it really doesn’t take the tech giant too many complicated algorithms to figure out your home and workplace. Your home is the location where you end up every night, and your office is the place you travel to every day.
8. All the emails you have sent and your contacts
A majority of people now use Gmail for its great interface and ease of use. If you are one of those people, then here is some news – Google has archived every email that you send or receive, all of your contacts, and even the documents that you share as Google Docs.
While you might think Google is keeping your data safe, the truth is, Google uses your email habits to drill your interests and then show you more relevant ads. So one minute you might be emailing your friend about buying a new bathing suit and the next minute, you could start seeing ads on other websites about bathing suit discounts
7. What you like and what you don’t like
Whether you use Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, if you have a Google account and you use Google search engine, chances are, Google has a pretty clear idea of what you like and most importantly, what you don’t like.
The scary part is that Google combines all the information it gets from your email, calendar, search engine history, YouTube video views, current location, and phone activity. And together, the information can literally tell Google your entire life story. From what time you go online to what kind of content you consume every day, and where you socialize with your friends.
6. Your entire call history
If you use an Android phone, which cannot be operated without logging into a Google account, then Google knows your entire call history.
Every call that you have ever made from your Android phone, every call you have received, and every message that you left – All that information is archived by Google. Again, it might sound harmless, but Google can learn about your calling patterns and target specific ads to you.
5. Everything you have viewed on the Play Store
All your Android Play Store searches are saved on Google as well. But you can actually use this sneaky habit by Google to your advantage. If you searched for an app earlier but can’t seem to recall its name now, then you can just go to your account’s My Activity page and tap on the ‘Play Store’ option. You will then be shown all the keywords you have ever searched on Play Store, from the latest to the oldest one.
4. The images you upload on Google Photos
Google Photos has proven to be a very easy way to store photos on the cloud for easy access and sharing. The main reason why it’s so popular among both Android and non-Android users is because Google provides unlimited free storage if you choose to save photos with 12MP quality or lower.
But before you save another set of family vacation photos on Google, remember that Google knows what you look like and it knows what your little kids look like. iCloud has already been hacked once, and Google Photos, being a cloud tool, is just as vulnerable.
3. The current phone you use (And all your other Android phones)
Google has a record of all the phones you have ever used to sign into your Google account. Whether you only used it to access your emails or sync your contacts.
And if you have used a couple of Android phones over the years, then Google has a log of them too. It knows what kind of phone you use, what software is currently running on it, and when it was last updated. In fact, if you have your backup option activated, then Google has all of those files too.
2. A very comprehensive list of everything you do on Android
Yes, Google has a list of all the phones you have ever owned, but it doesn’t stop snooping there.
Your phone’s very detailed information is on Google, and that includes all the apps ever downloaded, music, videos, and any other information which is backed up on Google’s servers.
While you cannot completely stop Google from snooping on your phone if you have an Android, you can delete all your backups and personal content by going to your Google Account’s dashboard, tapping on Android and clicking on ‘Delete backup data.’
1. Information you saved in Autofill for convenience
So, you have a lot of passwords for a large number of websites, and you cannot be expected to memorize all those logins. After all, you are only human. So, you use the Chrome browser’s Autofill feature to automatically log into different applications.
But that means Google knows all your passwords. If you use Chrome, then Google also knows how many different bookmarks you have saved on your browser and how many tabs you have open at all times.
The solution? Use incognito mode and remember all your passwords.
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