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Google’s New Privacy Policy: Protecting Yourself Once it’s in Effect

Google's privacy policy changed yesterday. After all the hype, the countless notifications in your Gmail and search browser, and numerous commentary articles, it happened!   Starting…

Google's privacy policy changed yesterday. After all the hype, the countless notifications in your Gmail and search browser, and numerous commentary articles, it happened!

Starting now, Google will use the same privacy policy for all of its programs and share data over all of its more than 60 services. Google will no-longer compartmentalize all its data on you so that Google search knows some, YouTube knows more, and Gmail knows the rest. Instead, everything you do on a Google service (while signed into your Google account) will be tracked by the same privacy team and shared across the company.

So, how do you protect yourself? Google’s new policies do not have an opt-out option, so you will have to adapt to their new system. But there are several ways that you can both prepare for the change and keep your data safe for the long term. Let’s look at several actions, some detailed by Mashable, you can perform to keep your data as safe, secure, and anonymous  as possible.

Action 1: Delete Your Google Search History

It’s best to start by doing your best to erase the past. Deleting your history is simple: sign into your Google account, go to, and click “clear your web history.” Of course, make sure to clear it “from the beginning of time.”

Action 2: Clear Your YouTube Search

Browsed any interesting videos lately? If you want to keep it private, sign into your Google account, go to, go to your profile, click on Video Manager, go to the History section, and then click “clear all history” and “pause viewing history.”
Google has many other services but most of your private searches will be in YouTube, on Google search, or in your Gmail.

Action 3: Edit Your Gmail Account

This may be the time for you to finally edit all that email. For security purposes, it’s never a good idea to store sensitive personal information, like credit card numbers and the like, in your email. As you are editing, you may also consider permanently deleting any very sensitive, private messages as well.

Action 4: Set up a Very Personal Gmail

The key thing to remember is that Google tracks you through your Google account. That is, the Google Account you choose to sign into when you start browsing.  So, if you haven’t already, it may be a good idea to set up a Google account that is only for personal use and not directly associated with your name and information. It’s a great way to browse without linking everything to yourself in a compromising way and you can run any sensitive website memberships through this email as well.

Action 5: Edit Your Google Dashboard

Google keeps most of the public information you enter on your dashboard. The dashboard is searchable and many people include their address, phone number, Facebook account, and other personal information. Now that your data will be aggregated across accounts, quickly editing your dashboard may help.

Action 6: Browse in Google Incognito

Google Incognito is a useful feature that lets you browse without a recorded search history.  When you open Google Chrome, click on the wrench then click “new incognito window.”It’s a hassle to do it every time but you can save it for your personal browsing time.

Action 7: Block Cookies from Google Search

Since Google uses cookies to track your search, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to disable cookies in your browser. Click on the wrench tool, go into options, and alter your cookies settings.

Action 8: Don’t Sign Into Your Google Account

The best option of all! If you are just browsing and you don’t need your Gmail or other Google services besides search, just don’t sign in! If you aren’t signed it, Google won’t track your data across its services.

So, that is an easy-to-use list of actions to protect yourself from the new privacy rules. If you know of others, be sure to use them and share with your friends!

(Image Credit: Simply Zesty)

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