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Think Facebook is hard to quit? Try Google
cardinal to Google ’ sulfur defense that it ’ s not a monopoly is a catchy phrase the company has employed for the stopping point decade : “ Competition is merely a click away. ” 1 2 3 4 5
The line has surface appeal : When people think of Google, they think of its search engine at Google.com. Simply navigate to Bing or DuckDuckGo rather and you ’ re done, right ?
Reading: Quitting Google
improper. While people have recently focused on the difficulty of closing their Facebook accounts,6 it ’ s a cinch compared with trying to go through a day without using Google ’ south products or services. We tried .
here ’ s how to quit Google :
STEP ONE: Switch Search Engines
Google ’ s namesake search locomotive is a font of information about everything you think and do on the web. Google “ personalizes ” your search results by analyzing your past searches and the links you ’ ve clicked – flush if you ’ rhenium not signed-in to a Google account.7
sol, you want to stop Googling on Google.com, but that means changing the default search engine on your browser and on your phone, to DuckDuckGo or Bing. That ’ s surely more than one click, but it shouldn ’ t take longer than five minutes or indeed to figure out.8
however, if you do decide to use another search locomotive, you may find Google ’ s rival underwhelming. That ’ sulfur because Google enjoys many advantages – including huge fiscal resources and access to troves of data – that make it identical difficult for competitors to seriously challenge Google in the search locomotive market.9
STEP TWO: Stop Using the Chrome Browser
Google ’ s leading web browser, used by more than 60 % of background internet users, channels an enormous come of data about your activities back to the company.10
If you are signed in to Chrome, then you ’ re besides signed in to any Google service you access through that browser, such as Gmail, YouTube or Google Maps.11 Any searches you conduct are mechanically stored in your Google account aboard your browse data, location history, and other personal information.12 Google may use any of this data to personalize search results and prey you with ads.13
indeed, go ahead and log out of Google Chrome and any of your Google accounts. Off Google ’ s radar ? Nope .
even when you ’ re not logged in, Google still associates search terms with your IP address, location, cookies from partner services and other characteristics of the computer “ fingerprint ” to create a profile of you.14
Use Firefox or another browser rather .
STEP THREE: Delete your Gmail account.
Delete your Gmail account. That injury ? Oh, and when you do that, don ’ metric ton forget to delete all of the other Google services tied to that account.15 If you have a Gmail account, you besides have an explanation with YouTube, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Hangouts, Blogger, and other Google services .
When you sign into Gmail, you ’ re mechanically logged in to all other Google services, including YouTube, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Search. Google then treats you as a single signed-in drug user across all of their products, which makes it easier to track your on-line habits.16
Google automatically stores search histories, YouTube viewing habits, e-mail metadata, and early information from Google ’ s versatile products in signed-in users ’ ad profiles.17
STEP FOUR: Dump Android
Have a smartphone without an Apple logo on the back, like a Samsung, HTC, Motorola ? You ’ rhenium about surely using Android, Google ’ s mobile operate system. ( More than 85 % percentage of the world ’ s smartphone users have an Android device. ) 18
Android phones immediate users to log in to a Google score during device setup.19 If you don ’ thyroxine, you ’ ll be unable to use most Google apps, including the Google Play store, the elementary gateway to third-party Android apps.20
That ’ sulfur why about every Android earphone or pill is associated with a Google Account.21
once you ’ re logged in, Google tracks your placement, searches, voice commands, and use of apps and services.22 Google even tracks whether you ’ re moving, and how—say, by walking, riding a bicycle or drive in a car .
It besides tracks the barometric imperativeness in your environment so it can determine your altitude.23 These “ environmental sensors ” are indeed accurate that Google can determine which floor you ’ re on in a multistory denounce mall.24
Google takes all of this data and associates it with your private bill and uses it to target you with ads.25 Google tracks Android users with a unique Advertising ID – the mobile equivalent of tracking cookies on the web.26
so, you ’ ll have to throw away your Android call. Hopefully you can afford the $ 1,000 for the latest iPhone.27
STEP FIVE: Delete all Google apps from your iPhone
Google utilize individual sign-on for Apple ’ s io, besides. therefore, when a exploiter signs in to one Google app on her mobile device – like Gmail, for case – they ’ re mechanically signed in to all other Google apps.28 Single sign-on allows Google to track io users much like it tracks Android users.29Ok, now you ’ ve got an iPhone. Think you ’ ra free of Google ? No .
Sign out of Google apps on your call and change your app permissions to deny Google entree to localization services. After that, you ’ ll have to take Google ’ south word that they aren ’ t tracking users who ’ ve turned off location services – Google has gotten in trouble for doing merely that in the past.30
To be safe, delete all Google apps from your earphone. Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Waze, Google Assistant, Nest, Chrome, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Calendar, Google Authenticator, Google Docs, Google Play, Google Earth … Google presently has several twelve mobile apps for iPhone, so be sure to get them all.31
STEP SIX: Purge other Google hardware
You ’ ll besides need to get rid of other things that run on Google ’ s operating systems. android Auto, Android wearables, Android TVs, Google Home, and Chromebooks—all of them run on Google operating systems .
If you have kids in school, you may not have the choice to dump Google devices. In 2016, Chromebooks made up 58 percentage of all mobile educational devices in U.S. K-12 schools.32 Unless you log in as a guest, Google tracks your action on Chromebook, too.33
STEP SEVEN: Don’t use Waze or Nest Products
Waze, the popular seafaring app, was acquired by Google in 2013.36 Waze collects “ detailed location, travel and route data ” from all users, regardless of whether or not they are signed in to the app.37 Waze besides asks to access users ’ contacts and desegregate with social networks.38
All Waze report data is owned by Google.39
STEP EIGHT: Don’t visit the house of anyone with Nest Products or Google Home
Google has patented technologies that would allow its smart home products to create singular voice profiles for any person in a home. They would allow Google to identify visitors and ascertain their “ sex, historic period, fashion-taste, vogue, temper, known languages, choose activities, and so forth. ” 40
One apparent describes combining browser search history with an prototype on a user ’ s T-shirt to infer an interest in the actor Will Smith.41
so future time you go to a friend ’ mho house, conduct a wax inspection of their thermostats and smoke detectors, and check all rooms for any Google Homes. There ’ second a good casual your friends own one. Nest has sold more than 11 million devices since 2011, and Google averaged sales of “ more than one Google Home device every second ” during the 2017 vacation season.42
While you ’ re at it, you ’ ll besides need newly friends .
STEP NINE: Don’t email anyone with a Gmail account
Google services are dominant and ubiquitous—it’s virtually impossible to avoid them in modern life.
Deleting your own Gmail report doesn ’ triiodothyronine catch Google from using its e-mail avail to gather information about you. While Google recently announced that it would stop analyzing the contents of electronic mail for advertise purposes, it inactive scans electronic mail metadata : information about the transmitter, receiver, date, etc.43
furthermore, Google has developed ways to use e-mail metadata to build “ implicit social graph ” that map user ’ second relationships.44 flush if you don ’ t have a Gmail history of your own, Google appears to know who your friends are .
One complicatedness : It ’ s not constantly easy to tell who has a Gmail account, as they may not have gmail.com in their domain diagnose. You ’ ll have to do some serious research before sending that email—just don ’ thyroxine do it by electronic mail .
STEP TEN: Don’t call or text anyone who has an Android phone
Android keeps racetrack of who you ’ re talking to and backs up a draw of the details to Google.45 If you do contact person with an Android telephone, do n’t put besides much religion in your friend ’ s earphone to keep your communications private .
For model, until 2015, Android users did n’t have a lot control over the particular types of data that apps could access on their phones. As a consequence, millions of Android users unwittingly gave third-party apps – most notably Facebook – access to their contacts, call logs, and evening text messages.46 That goes for anyone who texted or called them, besides .
And do n’t be so sure Google is n’t reading your textbook messages. Google Allo, a message app used on Android phones, stores users ’ text messages and scans their contents to “ improve services. ” 47
STEP ELEVEN: Don’t use the web
even when you use a unlike browser and search engine, Google still tracks you across the web. Without knowing it, you ’ re most probably encountering a Google product whenever you use the web .
Around 80 % of world wide web domains in the Alexa lead 1 million use Google engineering in the background, to display ads through Google or to monitor dealings using Google Analytics.48 Each time you happen across one of the sites, Google places a tracking “ cookie ” on your device to follow you across the internet.49
even if you are not signed in to a Google serve, Google will build a “ signed-out ” profile of your interests based on the websites you visit.50
Signed-out users can turn off ads personalization for each browser session, but ad track will switch rear on every time you clear your cookies, so be vigilant.51 Some browsers give users a “ Do not track ” context. Seems pretty clear, right ? unfortunately, “ Do not track ” mechanisms are basically voluntary guidelines and advertisers are absolve to ignore them.52
so, to in truth make sure that Google isn ’ thymine tracking you, you in truth need to stop using the network. Sorry .
Google is not presently collecting data on what you ’ re doing—at least deoxyadenosine monophosphate far as we know. not precisely “ a suction stop aside, ” but OK .
You ’ re besides living like it ’ second 1986. Let ’ s see how many days you can keep live liveliness without using or coming in reach with a Google intersection .
The serious indicate in all of this is that no one should always take Google at its discussion when it says that using their products and services is wholly optional and users can easily switch at any time. Fact is, Google services are dominant and ubiquitous—it ’ mho about impossible to avoid them in modern animation.
We’ve built a simple browser extension that warns you anytime Google in monitoring you. Click here to install »
6https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/04/how-to-delete-facebook-account; http://fortune.com/2018/03/24/how-to-delete-your-facebook-account-and-why-its-so-hard-to-do/; https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/3/22/17146776/delete-facebook-difficult
8 That means you too, iPhone users. Google pays Apple an estimated $3 billion a year to be the default search engine on the iPhone and iPad, presumably so it can track Apple users on the go.
13 https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/54068?visit_id=0-636379940196263996-288273263&hl=en&rd=1; https://www.propublica.org/article/google-has-quietly-dropped-ban-on-personally-identifiable-web-tracking.
26 http://www.techrepublic.com/article/pro-tip-how-to-opt-out-of-interest-based-ads-on-your-android-phone/; https://support.google.com/adxseller/answer/6274238?hl=en
27 https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/iphone-xs; https://www.businessinsider.com/android-is-for-poor-people-maps-2014-4
29 https://qz.com/194032/googles-sneaky-new-privacy-change-affects-85-of-iphone-users-but-most-of-them-wont-have-noticed/; https://venturebeat.com/2014/08/17/yes-google-maps-is-tracking-you-heres-how-to-stop-it/
30 https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/21/16684818/google-location-tracking-cell-tower-data-android-os-firebase-privacy; https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb
35 https://nest.com/legal/privacy-statement-for-nest-products-and-services/; https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/07/nest-is-being-rolled-into-googles-hardware-team/
40 http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?docid=20160293167; http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?docid=20170110144; http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?Docid=20160260135
42 https://www.cnet.com/news/nest-says-it-has-sold-over-11-million-devices-since-2011/; https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/how-google-home-and-google-assistant-helped-you-get-more-done-in-2017/
49 https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/48182; https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/types/
52 https://www.zdnet.com/article/why-do-not-track-is-worse-than-a-miserable-failure/; https://www.recode.net/2016/1/4/11588418/how-do-not-track-ended-up-going-nowhere; http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-gaping-flaw-in-microsofts-do-not-track-system-for-ie10-2012-8 That means you excessively, iPhone users. Google pays Apple an estimate $ 3 billion a class to be the default option search engine on the iPhone and iPad, presumably so it can track Apple users on the start. hypertext transfer protocol : //www.businessinsider.com/google-paid-apple-3-billion-remain-iphone-default-search-engine-analyst-estimate-2017-8