Everything Google knows about you – and it’s terrifying

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GOOGLE knows more about you than you probably think.

There’s an easy way to check what Google has learned about you – as well as the eerie guesses it makes about what you like.

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Google processes huge amounts of our data – giving it incredibly deep insight into our livesCredit: Google

What does Google know about me?

Google can work out so much about who you are and what you do.

Some of that is simply what you tell it: you may have handed over your name, age and date of birth.

Your activity on its platforms will also provide info.

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For instance, Google can gather data from the searches you make, the YouTube videos you watch, and the apps you download.

Much of this information will be held in your Google Dashboard.

Some of this information is just for you.

Other bits are used to help make Google apps better – like knowing your home and work addresses to provide Google Maps commute advice.

But Google also builds an advertising profile on you, in order to personalise the ads that you see.

In some ways, this is a good thing: you’ll see ads that are more relevant.

However, it’s also the result of data collection – so the privacy-conscious might want to switch ad personalisation off.

You can see the ads profile that Google has built for you here.

Some of it will be spot-on – and probably terrify you as a result – but it’s likely Google will have made a few mistakes along the way too.

In any case, you can turn ad personalisation off with a single click if it worries you.

How to find out what Google knows about you

To see the data that Google has collected about you, you first need to open to your Google Account by clicking on your profile picture.

Then, select “Manage your Google Account”.

Next, click “Data & personalization”.

Here you’ll be able to scroll through your past online activites.

Including “YouTube watch and search history” and a “Maps timeline”.

If you scroll further down the page you’ll see an option to “Download or delete your data”.

Google explains the steps you need on its ‘Get a summary of data in your Google Account’ webpage.

And you can check your ad personalisation here.

How to stop Google storing your activity

It is possible to stop Google from storing so much info in the future.

Go back to “Data and privacy”, “My Activity” and under “Web & App activity” you should see a blue toggle.

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Switch it off.

You can also switch off your “Location History” and “YouTube History”.

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