Privacy Checkup is a free tool by Google that lets you review and adjust privacy and account related Google Account settings.
Basically, it enables you to verify that the information that is revealed about you on the Internet matches your expectation.
To get started with Google's Privacy Checkup tool, visit this web page on the official Google My Account website.
Please note that you need to sign in to a Google Account before you can use the tool. It displays a short description of what is has been designed for on start, and a "start now" button to get started with the review.
The tool walks you through the following six steps, each with one or more preferences or options.
Choose what Google+ profile information you share with others
This step is about the Google profile and the information it contains that are visible to others. It allows you to take a look at the public profile to review the information that is publicly visible currently, and to edit what others see about you.
For instance, you may disable tabs like photos or reviews on your public profile to hide them, or edit your shared endorsement setting.
Shared Endorsement refers to your activities, e.g. reviews or likes, being used throughout Google products and services.
Google sometimes displays your reviews, recommendations and other relevant activity throughout its products and services. This may include shopping contexts, like the Google Play music store, and ads. Your profile name and profile photo may appear with your activity.
Help people connect with you
You are asked to review the connected phone number -- if there is any -- in this step, and decide whether others may use it to find you across Google services. Additionally, you may enable or disable the option that helps others find you by name, photo or other information that you have made visible on Google.
Manage what you share on YouTube
The third step is only relevant if YouTube is being used. Review how likes and subscriptions are handled on the site (private or public), whether you want your YouTube activity to show up automatically in your channel feed, and review privacy settings for videos and playlists.
Manage your Google Photos settings
You may configure Google Photos to remove geo-location information automatically when they are shared via links.
It needs to be noted that this setting affects only photos shared by link, and not all the photos that you upload to Google Photos or make available using the service.
Personalize your Google experience
The next step allows you to control activity, history and device information, and whether they are recorded by Google or not.
You may enable or disable the following controls in this step:
Make ads more relevant to you
The last step enables you to manage your ad settings, and here specifically whether interest-based ads are turned on or off.
It takes a couple of minutes to review your Google Privacy settings using the Privacy Checkup tool and it may be very well worth the time.
If you have made modifications in the past, you will notice that they are reflected by the tool already so that you can skip them after verifying that they have not changed.
Now You: How often do you verify privacy settings of important accounts?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.