At the center of Google’s changes is the principle of web search history tracking, which Google is clarifying and making more active use of. The privacy practices that Haverford’s Google Apps users are subject to is very different than the typical Google user is subject to. Here’s why:
- We have Web History Tracking turned off. Google accomplishes this by tracking the history of your web searches. When you’re logged into Haverford’s GoogleApps service your web history is not tracked because we have turned it off centrally.
Check it Out
To test web search history tracking:
- Visit https://www.google.com/dashboard.
- Click Settings
- Choose Google Account Settings
- At the bottom of the page click Go to Web History. You’ll see a notice that says that this feature is turned off.
What About my Personal Account?
So What Do I Do?
There are a few things you can do to help protect your privacy in general. Here’s what we suggest:
- Use separate browsers. One way to help keep things clean is to separate the web browser you use for your personal GMail account from the browser you use for web searches and activity. For example, if you use Chrome to access GMail, use Firefox to search the web.
- Log out when you’re done. Google says they stop tracking once you’ve logged out of personal GMail. Log out when you’re done and close your browser to complete the logoff process.
- Make use of private browsing sessions. Firefox and Chrome both offer the option to use the web in a more private mode. In Chrome it’s called “Incognito.” In Firefox it’s called “Private Browsing.” Use the links to learn more about these features, how they work and how to use them. Although these features don’t prevent the web servers on the other end from remembering what you do on their sites, it does prevent the software on your computer from recording any of this information locally on your computer.