In a new article for Washington Post Tech, columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler says that If Google is a data vampire, Chrome is its fangs. So if you want to keep Chrome from tracking your every online move, here is his advice:
- Switch browsers. Try Firefox, Safari or Brave. If you have to use Chrome, you'll have to tweak the default settings.
- Don't count on Incognito mode or a VPN.Those are only useful if you want to hide your activity from other people who share your browser. It does not stop websites, search engines and Internet service providers from tracking what you do.
- Tell Google to collect less personal information. You can can do this in two spots: Log in to Google’s advertising settings, and make sure “ad personalization” is set to “off.” Then head over to your Activity controls and turn off--or set to “pause,” your “Web & App Activity.”
- Make sure you’re not using Chrome Sync. In your Chrome browser, tap the circular icon in the top right corner to make sure you’re not signed in with your Google account and using the Sync function. This would allow Chrome to pass your browsing history to Google.
- Add a privacy extension. You can download software to add to Chrome that works behind the scenes to automatically block tracking cookies and other snooping techniques used by an armada of ad and data companies.
- Stop using Google for searches. DuckDuckGo is a good alternative.