There’s no such thing as a free lunch – or internet search engine.
Google is an amazing service, isn’t it? What can’t you learn just by typing your question into that little box? And, it’s free, too! Well, sort of. While Google doesn’t charge money for its services, it does collect a fee in the form of information about you and your internet usage – what you search, what sites you visit, et cetera. The company monetizes that information by selling it to advertisers who use the data to better target their marketing.
That may strike you as a reasonable bargain – or it might really creep you out. There’s some good news if you aren’t cool being be cyber-stalked, bundled and sold by Google. The company allows you to see what it’s gathered about you and provides some options to control what information is made available to marketers.
This video provides a nice tutorial to get you started. Spoiler alert: if you want to wander the web totally free of prying eyes, Google isn’t the place for you. Try DuckDuckGo, a search engine that promises not to track your information.