Google is Tracking You – Should you care?

%image_alt%Google tracks you.  That is a fact.  But, I’m sure they’re not the only ones.  It is a known fact in the Internet search community that search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and Bing gather information about users.  By knowing what type of websites are viewed, their sponsored advertisers may target and advertise to the users based on their preferences.

Every browser saves cookies, or username and password information to log into sites, such as Google, Yahoo, and Amazon, in turn, allowing you to revisit those sites without entering your info again.  That convenience has been taken advantage of Google with the Safari browser.  Specifically, Safari blocks cookies from third party, or advertiser sites.  But, Google was able to allow DoubleClick, its main advertiser, to bypass cookies from being blocked.  That way, DoubleClick could monitor the user’s browsing experience and tailor ads to the sites being visited.

What can you do to prevent your cookies from being tracked?  Go to your browser settings, choose option, and choose to never accept cookies.

Should you care about Google tracking you?  Well, not now, but in the wrong hands it could have serious repercussions to your online identity.  The slippery slope theory here is that if advertisers can track what you’re searching, that possibly damaging information (i.e. disease search, gun search, vampire worship search, bankruptcy search) may be found in the future during employment or background checks.  Yes, such background agencies should not have such personal information, but it’s possible and just that possibility alone is enough to make sure cookies are kept safe and not exploited.

Such cookie exploitation is worse than a temporary computer virus or hacker computer issue since cookies are permanently stored on your computer.  Well, unless you remove them or prevent them from being created.  50% of computer users use Safari for browsing the Internet.  This includes iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, Macs, and PCs.  So, Google and the rest of the search engine sites really need to get the cookie situation under control or else Big Brother will be constantly watching us.

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