*How Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google sell you to advertisers

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Because the latest version of Windows is always asking for information in the guise of being helpful, it’s easy to think that Microsoft is the poster child for the collective attack on your digital privacy.

It didn’t used to be that way. Until Windows-10, Microsoft was rather tame about its data collection practices. In fact, Google and Facebook have always been more aggressive in collecting your private data.

Today, a lot of companies feel perfectly entitled to require you to hand over your personal info before they open their doors. Where is all of this headed to?

It is the ‘price of free’: free email, free operating systems, free connecting with friends, free search. And while Microsoft has only recently joined the list of the mega-collectors, you can make the argument that all of these companies are doing all they can to mine your data. Let’s take a look.

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* 9 scary personal details Google collects about you

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Our readers know that we have been warning about Google’s personal data collection since we went live. Google is, without a doubt, the worst offender of privacy online. However, we all need to wade through Google’s services from time to time, so we tend to ignore that simple truth.

And a huge number of people still use – and like – Gmail either as their main service or a backup. And if you use an Android device, you must have a Gmail account, but that doesn’t mean you need to use it all the time.

A brief glance through our listing of previous articles will show multiple times we’ve tried to help cure people of their Google addiction. Unfortunately, Google’s business model is about spying on us and reselling our personal information to whomever will buy it. And folks … there are a LOT of companies and government agencies that want to know about us.

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*Google’s interest-based ads can be controlled

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Don’t you hate it when an ad about a product or service you recently looked for tends to follow you around the Internet?

Most of the time, this is thanks to ad networks. An ad network is made up of companies that share information they know about you so you see ads you’re more likely to click on. While that’s scary, it also means you can opt out in one place and it applies to many companies, as in the case of Facebook and the Digital Advertising Alliance. However, Google has another ad-targeting system you need to know about.

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*Ready to cut the cord on Google?

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People are beginning to realize that Google is recording and reselling their personal data. On top of that, that personal data is being sold to unknown (to us) advertisers, corporations, and government agencies.

How can they do that? Well I don’t know many people that read the User Agreements (EULA) that we are asked to approve every time we use a new online service. Next time … take the time. You’ll be surprised how much you are allowing other companies into your personal matters.

But that’s another story.

That being said, Google is the largest of the data collection companies we normally use, followed right after that by Facebook and Microsoft (through Windows-10). Many tech- conscious users are beginning to move away from Google, some are even cutting the cord completely.

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* Easy way to clear the cache, cookies, and browsing data in Google Chrome

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Because of the way the Google Chrome browser is set up it can be difficult for users to get into the correct settings locations to clear out the cache, cookies, and browsing history.

And indeed, many users don’t care if a browser keeps track of their Internet activity and reports that activity back to someone, sitting at a desk, in a dark room, at some undisclosed location.

Yes, it just might be that scary. So here’s how to clear that tracking information from the Google Chrome browser:

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*How to delete your Google search history

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By now most people are aware that Google keeps track of everything you do on the Internet. Those records are then sold to advertisers and government agencies for profit, that’s their business model. Yup, it’s kinda creepy.

The online giant knows every movie you searched for the starring actors, every restaurant you’d looked into for visiting, and every car that you’ve thought of purchasing. It also knows more personal details, like what medical conditions you are ailing from, which coworkers you’ve tried finding information on, and where you’re thinking about taking your next trip.

Google knows all of these things from your many internet searches. It’s understandable if you consider this is a terrible privacy risk because it is.

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*Trump supports bill to modify Obama-era Internet privacy rules

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The controversial measure, which would change a host of Internet privacy protections enacted near the end of the Obama administration, would mean broadband Internet providers can collect data on user’s online activities. But backers of the proposal say the regulatory rollback of rules merely puts Internet providers on the same level as search engines like Google.

And there is some validity to this point of view. Other Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and others, already collect and sell personal data from users. The rollback simply allows ISP’s to compete on a level playing field.

“Congressional action to repeal the [Federal Communications Commission’s] misguided rules marks an important step toward restoring consumer privacy protections that apply consistently to all Internet companies,” the Internet and Television Association, a telecommunications trade group, said in a statement.

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