If you're like most people, you use Google a lot, which means it knows a lot about you. Just think about the searches, location, email, videos, history and more it's recording by default. So when was the last time you checked your Google privacy settings or account settings to make sure it's set up the way you want?
You probably haven't done it recently, and that's partly because Google's settings system can be intimidating and hard to navigate. However, the company just made a big change that makes it easier.
If you go to myaccounts.google.com and log in, you'll end up on the new settings page, which looks like this:
You can see it's broken into three handy sections: Sign-in & security, Personal info & privacy, and Account preferences. The language is also a lot more natural so you have a better idea of what the settings do.
You can go digging through these sections yourself, or you can let Google help. Google has updated its Security Checkup tool and added a Privacy Checkup tool. If you want a guided walk-through of your settings, those are the tools to run.
If you go poking around, you might even find some screens you didn't know exist, like the Ads Settings page. This tells you what information Google ads on Google's sites and around the Web know, or think they know, about you. You can edit these settings to remove incorrect information, or opt out entirely.
I encourage you to take a little time and look through the new My Accounts page. You might find some things you want to change.
Just be aware that Google has a bit of a spin on the settings explanations to make them sound like leaving them on is important for a good Web experience. When it comes to ads and information gathering, take those messages with a grain of salt.
You can also head over to privacy.google.com to see Google's updated privacy FAQ. This explains how Google uses your information in clearer language than in the past.