What do Google Search, Chrome, Facebook and Facebook Messenger have in common? They are all free and are financed through advertisements. To coordinate these advertisements in a targeted way for the user, data about the user is collected and analyzed in the background.
Maybe you no longer know what profiles you frequently visited in 2013 – but Facebook does. The platform stores every user interaction (event participation, video calls, person searches, etc.), location and any ads that were clicked. This can be restricted, however.
Here are a few tips for quickly modifying your own profile:
- Modify your privacy settings
- Install an ad blocker
- Deactivate the location services
- Delete activity reports
If you want to know where you spent Christmas in 2014, open this link from your Google profile: www.google.com/maps/timeline. Searches, places you stayed, speech commands, YouTube likes as well as browser entries, searches in Google Play Store and websites visited are all stored.
Simple privacy modifications are also possible in the Google profile:
- Records can be managed and stopped under “Data and Personalization” > “My Activity”
- The privacy settings should be checked and monitored from time to time regarding who has been given access to your data.
You only notice how much personal information you have revealed about yourself to the corporate giants Facebook and Google when you actually see what personal information has been stored. As convenient and useful as many of the services offered are, the old adage still holds true:
“If you’re not paying for it, you are the product.”