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  • Writer's pictureJeff Bohr

Managing your personal data with Google

If you have a Gmail account or use Google, you can control what Google knows about you and how they may track you. Remember that Google is an advertising company, and they often use data about you to target ads. You may have noticed this when you were browsing for an item, then you see that item or similar items on ads on web pages. This is because Google is tracking you.

To set your Google privacy settings, follow these steps:

Access Your Google Account: Start by signing into your Google account. You can do this by going to the Google homepage and clicking on your profile picture in the top-right corner, then selecting "Google Account.”

Privacy Checkup: In your Google Account settings, you'll find a “Data & Privacy” section. Click on it, and you'll see options for managing your privacy settings. One of the helpful tools here is the "Privacy Checkup." Click on it to review and adjust various privacy settings.

Activity Controls: In the "Privacy & Personalization" section, you can also review and manage your activity controls. This includes settings for web and app activity, location history, device information, and more. You can toggle these on or off based on your preferences.

Ad Personalization: Under "Ad Personalization," you can control how Google uses your data to personalize ads. You can opt out of ad personalization or customize your ad preferences.

Manage Data & Personalization: Explore the "Manage your Data & Personalization" section to control how Google uses your data to personalize services like Google Search and YouTube. You can delete activity history, manage search history, and more.

Security Settings: Ensure your account is secure by reviewing the "Security" section of your Google Account settings. Here, you can set up two-step verification, check for any unusual account activity, and manage your recovery information.

Third-party Apps & Sites: Check the "Third-Party Apps with Account Access" section to review and revoke permissions you've given to third-party apps.

Location Settings: If you want to manage location settings, you can go to the "Location" section to control which apps and services have access to your location.

Review Permissions: Periodically review and audit the apps and services that have access to your Google account. You can do this in the "Security" section under "Third-party Apps with Account Access.”

Check Connected Devices: In the "Security" section, you can also review the devices that have access to your Google account and remove any that you no longer use or trust.

Remember that Google's interface and options may evolve over time, so it's a good practice to periodically review and update your privacy settings to ensure they align with your preferences.


Jeff is your one stop Mac expert, an Apple Certified Support Professional, and 37-year Mac user. He can be reached at or 239.595.0482


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