On a normal day, I take bath only once; brush my teeth once or twice and think of sex 13 times!! Now, that last bit is what Telegraph says. However, as a techie, I use google a lot. Now, how much is a lot? This month, for instance, I have done 3639 searches!! That's about 120 searches in a day. WTH?? I google a lot of non-technical stuff too, some of which I wouldn't really want to post on my FB wall. So, I did a little googling on how safe or secure my googling history is. My findings are fairly alarming, not that I didn't expect it. But some comments by experts do get me worried.
"Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is."
-- BBC technology commentator Bill Thompson, Feb. 21, 2003
Hmmm, so google definitely knows a lot about me, definitely more than I want them to know (but I think of it more than 13 times a day, hehehe). Before I tell you how you can verify this, let me brief about two types of searches.
Signed in searches: Searches that you do when you are logged in to a google account.
Signed out searches: Searches that you do when you are not logged in to a google account.
Google can permanently store only the 'signed in' search history. We will discuss 'signed out' searches later in the blog.
Access this URL - https://www.google.com/dashboard/ You will be prompted for google account credentials. This is your google dashboard. All information related to your google account will be properly arranged here. Check out various sections. Towards the bottom of the page, you can spot a section - Web History. This is of extreme interest to us.
Here, your search history is categorized and listed. Access any of the links and revisit the sins of your past. Will google ever sell this info to a third party? I don't really think so; but, what if someone hacks your account. Hahaha, noone can hack my google account. Come on yaar, it is google eh? I have a friend who hacks google accounts with a fair amount of ease. He is not successful at every attempt though. There would be a lot of info in your account and in your search history you want to keep private. Well, that is why google gives you an option to delete it. So, if you are concerned, please use it.
However, if you do not delete the search history, be aware that google personalizes your search experience, by default. What does that mean? From 4th Dec 2009 onwards, google personalizes your searches. Read more here. You can also opt out of the personalization feature.
Hope this piece of information puts you more at ease.