If you’re like most online users, you probably use the Google search engine, which is the most popular search engine with the highest market share percentage, 74.54% as of 2017 to be exact.
Which means that most online users rely heavily on the Google search engine to search for information online.
Not only that, but most people also use the Chrome web browser to surf the web, which is currently the undisputed leading internet browser with a market share of 57.69% as of March 2018.
What about mobile operating systems? Did you know that Android, the mobile operating system (OS) developed by Google has a global market share of 81.7%?
How about watching videos? YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, is doubtlessly the largest video-sharing platform on the internet.
In other words, Google’s products and services are everywhere, the internet company is destined to become the gateway to the internet. It’s just not possible anymore to use the internet without using any of Google’s internet services (at least for most people). Its valuable product line is a life-saver for many online users.
But have you ever wondered how Google makes money?
The behemoth tech company Google, owned by Alphabet, has generated $66 billion in revenue last year, which accounted for 96% of its total generated revenue, and this revenue was all from one source only:
Google writes in its annual report,
“We generate revenue primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising.”
Google relies heavily on advertisers to generate the majority of its revenue, but the question is what makes these advertisers so attracted to Google’s advertising services?
Most online advertisers on the web use Google’s online advertising service known as Google AdWords to promote their products and services and reach a large audience of online users.
But that’s not the only reason. In fact, the primary reasons why advertisers use Google’s advertising system is due to the amount of user data that Google has, and which allows for a more personalized and targeted advertising.
Google knows a lot about you
Google knows so much about its users, other online advertising services such as that offered by Facebook reportedly doesn’t have user data similar to that of Google.
And this is mainly due to the amount of multiple Google services used by many online users such as:
- » Search engine
- » Web browser
- » Video platform
- » Mobile app store
- » Mobile operating system
- » Email client
- » A social network
- » Cloud hosting
- » Advertising network
- » Map software
- » Calendar software
- » Doc management software
- » Auto-translation service
- » Google Play Music
And many other products and services that are just too many to list here. But in case you want to know about all the available Google products, then just go to this site: Google.com/about/products/
By using all or just some of these products and services offered by Google, mostly for free, you give Google the permission to collect your data, browsing history, and other sensitive data.
Everything you search for, every website you visit, every app you install, every video you watched on YouTube, every ad you have viewed or clicked, and other data is stored on Google’s servers.
Google then provides this type of valuable data to online advertisers, third-party companies, or use it to learn more about what people want and what products to create next.
In other words, this is how Google makes most of its money. While other internet companies such as eBay, Amazon or Victoria’s secret generate most of their revenue by selling physical products — Google, Facebook, and others generate the majority of their revenue by selling their users data.
And while most people don’t really care what Facebook or Google knows about them, other businesses and advertisers will kill to get their hands on the quality of user data that some of these internet companies have access to.
Access to quality user data allows companies and advertisers to learn more about customer’s problems, get ideas on what products to create, and sell more products that people need.
That’s a great thing for these companies, but what do users get in return?
Nothing, or at least they get free products and services in exchange for their precious user data, which is why you need to take the responsibility of protecting your data and browsing history from these internet companies and advertisers by using a VPN software to anonymize your internet identity.
How to download your Google data
In order to get a more accurate understanding of how serious this is, and the amount of valuable (and creepy) data that Google knows about you, there is an option to download this data.
Google has provided users of its services with the option of downloading an archive that contains all data they have stored on Google’s servers during their entire history of using the Google services.
Here are the steps that you need to take to download your Google data:
Step 1: Go to Google.com/settings/takeout
Step 2: Choose which products’ data you want to download.
Step 3: Tap on ‘Next’.
Step 4: Select which file format you want to download such as a .zip file.
Step 5: Select your preferred delivery option, you can have the option of receiving the download link or download the files directly to your Google Drive or Dropbox account.
Step 6: Click on ”Create archive”
Step 7: Now you will have to wait for several hours (depending on the size of your data files) until your download is ready.
After your download is ready, you will probably be shocked to see the huge amounts of information (data) that Google knows about you.
And as we have previously mentioned, internet companies like Google rely on their users’ data to generate revenue. Google will lure you with its fancy products and services, most of the time, for no cost at all — only so they can see how you use these services and collect your user data so they can later sell it to advertisers.
Most people don’t know this, but even if you do, you can do nothing about it. You can’t complain because you’re using the products and services for free.
”When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold.” — Jonathan Zittrain.
In other words, you’re probably paying with your data and sacrificing your privacy to gain access to most free products and services online.
And this is why we don’t recommend using free VPN software, simply because they sell your data too to make money. Plus their VPN software is not as reliable as premium VPN software which uses high-levels of security standards and encryption technologies.
Not only will a VPN software protect your data from internet companies, but it will also protect your data from ISPs, surveillance agencies, advertisers, and cybercriminals.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to secure and protect your data while browsing the web anonymously. It’s a must-have tool if you want to keep your personal information hidden from these voracious internet companies who are getting rich off selling your private data.
If you don’t want to let internet companies, ISPs, and hackers to collect and sell your data, the best thing you can do is turn-off the internet altogether, the second best thing you can do is to use a VPN software to protect your private information/data from any snoopers and enjoy an open internet with no restrictions.
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