Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Alert: Please log off Google services such as Gmail and YouTube when using my sites.

Disturbingly I’m now seeing up to 50 per cent of people reaching my sites who may be logged on to a Google service and so could be tracked at the individual level.

I use Google’s blogger, Analytics and sometimes Google advertising on my sites. If you are logged on to a Google service your activities can be linked to you as an individual. What you are doing on the internet can thus potentially be tracked to you as an individual.

What people don’t know is when you visit a site which has advertising on it, that advertising is often provided by Google. Many sites use Google’s Analytics software to record statistics for their sites. As you move from site to site your activities can potentially be recorded as an individual.

As you read the major daily news sites, as you search for information, when you go to many sites on the internet your activities can be tracked to you as an individual. In addition it is also possible your location is being tracked without your knowledge because often the internet address you use to access the internet is known to be in a certain area.

It is up to each person to decide whether this matters to them or not. If it does matter to you then consider logging out of all Google services (and potentially other services). When you are logged on to services you can be tracked individually and a profile of you and your activities can be created. Some of this information can potentially end up in the wrong hands. The most obvious outcome is you’ll be directly marketed to and could end up paying more for products and services.

We can’t stop the government and companies collecting information, but most people aren’t aware that their activities on the internet can be tracked to them individually. Because more than 90% of Australians use Google for searching, if they are logged on to Google services (my logs are indicating up to 50% of people may be logged onto a Google service when they reach my sites) then your activities across the internet may be being recorded.

Log off online services as soon as you are finished with them. Don’t keep services such as Gmail and YouTube logged on and running in the background. This doesn’t just apply to Google. Any service that you are logged in and has software they’ve created installed on another site could be doing the same. The type of services that come to mind are social networking services. Where a site you visit displays a button from a social networking service you don’t know what that code does and neither do I. The code could be tracking you. By logging off you reduce some of your online activities being tracked.


Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections


Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.


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