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Thursday, April 26, 2012

So What Exactly Does Google Know About You?


 Photo Credit: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/
Time to put on your tinfoil hats boys and girls and gather around the glow of the computer screen as we talk about your personal information and how much a total stranger can learn about you simply by gathering your breadcrumb trail of internet posts. While social media can bring together long lost classmates and friends, it can also break up marriages and cause kittens to be born without their mommas. So what's to worry about and what is not worth worrying about?

There are a couple of things that you should be aware of. First of all, don't ever post something on the internet with the assumption that you can pull it down later. That's a risky gamble in first place, but there are ways to pull information off the web that isn't there anymore, not to mention that anyone that sees the info can simply take a screenshot.

Second, use some common sense. While it might be a great idea to post photos of your family while you are at Disney, maybe wait until you get back to post those photos. Anyone that knows your Facebook or Twitter profile will be able to see your posts, unless you make change privacy settings. Might as well send a thief a postcard saying that you are going to be out for the next couple of days, take your time. Do check your privacy settings in any social apps that you use. Unless you are some sort of internet celebrity, you might be better off setting your profile defaults to hide your personal information unless you accept them as a friend.

Having said all of that, it is easy to just dish over all your personal information to a company that you trust. For instance, I do not trust Facebook at all, but I am totally invested in the Google eco-system. Google handles my social network, my email, my contacts, my phone OS, my location, my web searches,  and my financial information. Even this blog is hosted by Google's Blogger service.













So what does El Google know about you? With all of the information that I give to them on a daily basis, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out who I am, what I like and what my blood type is. Well maybe not exactly that last one, but you get my point. Here's what Google knows about John Ennis:


  1. They know that I like computers, specifically computer hardware and components. DUH
  2. I like consumer electronics, gadgets, PDAs and handhelds. DUH
  3. Food and drink My undergrad degree is in Culinary Arts
  4. Internet and telecom, mobile and wireless, smart phones /headdesk
  5. World locations, Asia I am half Korean, this one shocked me
  6. I am male and between the age of 25-34 Just turned 35 in the past couple of months. 
If you want to see what Google knows about you click this link.

There is a really good article to read if you want to know what you can potentially expose yourself to totally. 

TL:DR it isn't as bad as you might think, but you might want to be careful and use some common sense. Don't bail on a friend saying you're sick then check into the local movie theater.