Apple Guide Podcast
Kicking Google to the Curb
If you’ve seen the tech news recently, then you know privacy has been a hot topic. Companies like Facebook and Google are trying their best to collect as much information on you as possible. However, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. So today, we will look at how to kick Google to the curb.
Let's start off using some imagery to describe data collection. You're new to the world of tech. You log onto your computer for the first time, and you open your internet browser like Google Chrome or Safari. You then do a quick Google search. It's at that moment a new folder is created and opened in Google's massive filing cabinet. From then on, when you interact with any Google service, your file is updated. After creating a Google account, you're really locked in. Now a name has been added to that folder. As you continue to use their services, your folder gets bigger and bigger. And that's data collection in a nutshell. Some may not mind it since it does create a better user experience in some cases. Others say HANDS OFF.
Data collection has a time and a place. There are some valid reasons to collect user's information. For instance, if you're developing an iPhone app, you want to see when users run into problems so you can fix them. However, you don't need to know everything about that user, maybe just the iPhone model and iOS version number. Companies like Google and Facebook, on the other hand, use their massive data collection processes to serve users personalized ads in an attempt to make as much money as possible, more on that later.
The most obvious way to solve your Google privacy problem is by switching to a different service.
The number one Google service you probably use is Google Search. As much as they dominate the market, you'd be forgiven if you thought they were the only search engine out there. However, there are two great alternatives to consider, and I'm not talking about Bing or Yahoo.
DuckDuckGo and Ecosia are two great alternatives to Google search. Both companies pride themselves on not collecting and storing information on you nor work with other companies that will. And you may be thinking, "Then how do these companies make money?" Well, they still sell ad spots, but the trick is to show ads based on what you just searched for and not what you looked up the other day. In addition to privacy, Ecosia donates a large portion of its income to non-profits around the world that focus on planting trees. I strongly encourage you to try one of these services and see if you notice a difference. I will leave links below on how to change your default search engine in the most common browsers.