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Written by Nique Sanders | Webtic Internet Consultancy
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De-google-ify: how to protect your privacy when using Google

Google is hot in the netherlands. It's mostly coming down to privacy. So besides absorbing the unilateral news I searched for information on my own computer.

What is Google doing on my computer? How deep are they digging into my system? So I opened Firefox. A favorite browser of mine because of it's privacy protection. The way to collect user-specific information (amongst others) is by using HTTP cookies. So I started looking for the Google cookie.

My step-by-step plan:
1. Starting up Firefox, delete all cookies (Firefox > Preferences... > Privacy > Cookies > Clear all Cookies).
2. I quit the application (after checking that all cookies were deleted).
3. Started it up with an blank homepage.
4. Checked the cookies and there it was. Only one cookie! From Google. Without surfing, without visiting a site.

What could be responsible for placing that cookie there?
In the right top of the browserwindow there is a Google search option. It's default installed! Not when I surf to a site. No without my knowledge the cookie is there all the time.

Afbeelding 1.png

My solution for the time being, at least untill I find out more about my privacy protection:
1. Start up Firefox, delete all cookies (Firefox > Preferences... > Privacy > Cookies.
2. Click button 'Exceptions'.

Afbeelding 2.png

3. Add in field 'Address of website' the IP number of the Google homepage Add, or others.

Afbeelding 3.png

ATTENTION: Google owns the NetRange through So it's not watertight, they can't all be blocked. But it was fun to watch the result. No cookies from Google on my computer. At least for now...

Besides the cookies I think there's another matter of attention. They provide so many services that even using a few of them can give them the opportunity to collect information about me. The treath is in connecting all that data together. But that's a comprehensive threath. When connecting my digital shoppingbonuspoints to my digital medical file someone can find out about my habits. Because I buy so many fat food my changes for a heartattack a severe. That's why my healthinsurancecompany is raising my contributions...

GoogleWatch, a site about Google's monopoly, algorithms, and privacy policies.
Google Privacy Policy. October 14, 2005
The world according to Google. By Charles Miller. A BBC Money Programme


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