Ok, some of you might get freaked out by this. But, if you bear with me for a bit, there’s some good news somewhere in this article. So, I’ll assume that we all know that Google is tracking our every move on the internet. They do this to make Ad targeting a lot easier for them. Google stores information in a cookie to associate your ads preferences with the browser you are currently using.
The best way to find out what Google knows about you and your browsing habits is by going to the Google Ad Preference page. It will generally show you what the big G has collected about your online activity.
Non-paranoids need not concern themselves with this. If you don’t give a $#!+ about what websites are collecting about you online, simply ignore and move on. If you love Google, you can even add your preferred category and even help them associate more ads with you. This way, you’ll really get them to display ads that you are actually interested in.
For paranoids, here’s some good news. Through the page that I’ve linked above, the Google Ad Preference Page, you can remove the cookie that tracks your browsing habits. Simply press the Opt Out button and Google will disable the tracking cookie and will no longer associate interests and demographic categories with your browser.
Another thing that you can do to prevent companies from associating ads with your interests, is to install a Google Chrome plugin called Keep My Opt-Outs. Keep My Opt-Outs is an extension for users who aren’t comfortable with personalization of the ads they see on the web. It’s a one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies adopting the industry privacy standards for online advertising.
You might also want to check out another article about privacy. It’s about another plugin that you can use to keep companies from tracking your browsing habits.