I have reached the point where I am tired of searching for a specific product or simply searching for anything and less than two minutes later see an ad for what I was looking for or something related to my search. I realize advertising is part of the Internet and, although I try to block as much of it as I can, I still expect to see some advertising. However, what really bothers me is that whatever Google is always tracking me. I’ve tried using search engines that don’t track you such as Duck-Duck-Go, but I got tired of seeing search results in other languages. So, today I discovered another tactic.
This is what I did. I went to https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity
and clicked the three little dots in the upper right, and chose “Delete Activity By” On the page that opened under Delete by Date I chose All Time and clicked Delete.
Next, I went to:
and turned everything off, pausing everything.
Finally, I went to
You might be surprised that Google has a description of you. I took a look at it before I turned ad-personalization off. Some of these are very minor interests, but it explains some of the ads I’ve seen.
I did not install a browser plug-in to help with it, because it would just be wasted space on my computer.
Just to be sure I did some searches then opened https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity again. I was happy to see it said No activity.
I clicked on Ad settings and turned everything to either Not Allowed or No One. Then the next tab down, Hide ad topics I turned everything under Alcohol, Parenting, and Pet to off.
You might find it interesting to look at the Advertisers you’ve interacted with. I think they include advertisers your friends and friends of friends have interacted with. My list totaled 357 for a Facebook account that’s existed for less than two year and included a district attorney candidate in Oklahoma and a real estate agent in Florida, and car dealerships in Michigan, New York City, in South Carolina, New Jersey, 4 in Georgia, 2 in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, 3 in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Kentucky, Washington, 4 in Florida, Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, and three here in California where I live even though the last time I looked for a car to buy was in 2009.
A couple other things to try. You can add one of four extensions to your browser to block most ads: Ad Block, Ad Block Plus, Adguard, or uBlock Origin.
Also, if you hover your cursor over your browser icon you’ll see a list of possibilities you can open. One of them will be something like New Private Window or New Incognito Window. Choose that and you will open a window that stops your browsing from being tracked, but you’ll also have to log-in to any site that requires a login and password.
Lastly, there’s a Browser I often use called Brave https://brave.com/ that automatically blocks trackers and ads and it claims to be faster. Or you can choose to see ads that reward the publishers of those ads when you look at the ads or go to the sites.