Web Talk with Andrew Firth


Last month I discussed social media and how normal communication skills are often overlooked, in particular the ability to listen.

This month I am going to talk about recent changes to Google’s privacy policy and how these can affect you – and, more importantly, how you can minimise their effect.

For users of Google services (pretty much all of us in one way or another) a recent update to Google’s privacy policy may cause concern. However you use Google – whether it be purely search, or you have a Gmail account, you use Google+ or even Google Docs – Google is storing information about you that it is now using increasingly more readily to provide targeted advertising on your screens.The changes that have been announced have been designed to bring together all the small parts of information that Google knows about us, into a single portrait that can be accessed by advertisers to promote even greater targeting of advertising, whatever Google service we are using at any one time. Google will likely have more on us than anyone – including any government – so this really will be the closest we have come in the UK to Big Brother.

Here are our top tips on minimising the policy changes effect on you:


1 Clear your Google history – log in to your account and through the account settings ‘go to web history’. If you click ‘remove all web history’ and then press pause, this will stop your browsing history from being recorded.

2 Every time you log in to your Google account, as in stage one to clear your history, ensure you log out afterwards.

3 When using search, YouTube and other applications where logging in is not required, ensure that you are not logged in. If you have to log in for any reason, see stage 2 above.

4 When using Google you can opt out of display advertising – go to the settings menu and within advertising you can choose to ‘opt out’.

5 When using Google+, ensure you treat this with care; as with other social networks, be mindful of what you say, but with Google+ ensure you create circles and use them.

6 And remember, it’s not all about Google; there are other search engines out there!


The online world is changing fast, your data is a very valuable commodity, and it’s worth protecting.

To read more on this and other subjects, visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog 

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter: @andrewjfirth

Connect on LinkedIn: andrewjfirth

Ascensor is a full service website design, ecommerce and search engine marketing company. For a free, noobligation website review contact sales@ascensor.co.uk.


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