Have you ever felt like your smartphone is eavesdropping? You are casually researching or talking about buying a new pair of shoes, only to find ads all over your social media accounts about shoes! Will if this happened to you, then do not worry, you are not the only one being stalked by your phone!
If we really think about it, we will find out that Google probably knows more about you than your next door neighbor. From using Gmail and Google Calendar to Google Maps, we might all be guilty of giving Google our information on a plate of gold. And what the tech giant does is cater to our needs based on what we add to our Google accounts and what we point blank “google”. The reality of it is that every time you sign into your account, Google starts gathering data about you in order to personalize ads based on your interests.
So now that we established that targeted ads are no coincidence, and are in fact tailored specifically for you, the question of how to stop them from bombarding us remains.
- A good place to start would probably be to switch off personalized ads from your Google account. This does not mean you will stop seeing ads, but instead it means that the displayed ads will be generic and not based on your interests.
- You can also make use of the incognito or private browsing settings when using YouTube, Google Chrome or other browsing services. This means that the browser or app will not track or save your cookies, and thus there will be no history for Google or any other platform to access and collect.
- Some might also advise to avoid using features like “sign in with Google” in order to minimize the data that your google account has access to.
- Make sure you periodically clear your cookies, or even opt to turn them off.
While targeted ads might sometimes be helpful, it eventually goes back to whether people want applications and websites to have access to their data or not. In a time where technology is taking over, having our information and data online means that we are always at risk of having them exposed and accessed by others. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of data we are sharing and to opt for ways to minimize the access of any app or service used.
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