Monday, March 5, 2012

Controlling Privacy Within Your Googleverse

If news of Google privacy policy changes has made you even more paranoid about the internet and privacy (I would first argue, you probably never should have joined Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, etc., but that's a whole other topic.) ...simply go to the "Google Dashboard" - and login to your Google account to review and alter any aspect of Google's roll in your life on the internet.

(If you do not have any form of a personal Google account, a.k.a. YouTube, Picassa, Blogger, Gmail, Docs, Android, Voice, Google+, Latitudes, etc., then the recent News and policy changes, as to how Google is utilizing your info in a different or cumulative manner, is completely moot.)

For those who utilize Google's expansive ecosystems, (even in the cases where you forget a service is a part of Google's always expanding domain,) you will not only see an entire lineage of each and every Google asset you utilize, but you are offered full control over the mannor in which your information is utilized and/or search results and related add content (* the reason everything is FREE!!) are displayed and/or customized for you or NOT.

You will also see sections on:
  • "Set up search alerts for your data"
  • "How to manage your online identity"
  • "How to remove unwanted content"
You can of course reject and/or control access to you data from any 3rd party group Google might have offered access. In sections such as, "Websites authorized to access the account".

Any of these 3rd party sites were only provided initial access to your data, due to some "accept" or "yes" you granted them upon registering to a service or site. But again, you can reject those original permission any time you wish.

The "Search Alerts" section, mentioned above, is particularly cool, since you can ask Google to alert you if your name or private info, (or any custom request) is ever placed on another site to email you immediately. Google is after all scouring every website in the world with an arsenal of more computer systems than any other company in the world possesses.

The "Social Connections and Content" section, does a rather unique job of showing you a few connections on the internet you have through Google you may not have otherwise considered.

I would say the Dashboard is also a great reminder of the exceptional "ecosystem" of tools and service Google offers all of it's users. The tools are in many cases, second to none. And productivity and efficiency is often the name of the game. (Refer to an education focused, blog entry I submitted last year, for more details on just how powerful and useful many of these FREE assets are: "Continued Education Via The Internet" - )

Keep in mind "paranoia will destroy ya!", so try to worry a bit less about how your potentially being exploited, versus how you are challenging yourself and growing towards more productively exploiting the tools and services available to those willing to explore, learn and take control of technology.

Fear of the unknown is never a good catalyst for feeling the victim. In 99% of the cases involving today's web based services, the control is yours to take. And the opportunities for those who learn to exploit these revolutionary technologies and services is truly endless.

So try to refrain from a mind set of boycotting an exceptional set of tools and services, simply because you can't be trifled with things like knowledge or learning curves. When laziness and/or bad info, equal (=) fear, we all loose.

  Google Accounts
Google Dashboard offers a simple view into the data associated with your Google Account. Designed to offer you transparency and control; Summarizes the data associated with each product you use when s...

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