I have always been an advocate for using Google products in your business: YouTube, Google Shopping, Google My Business, Google AdSense, Google Analytics – the list goes on. These are great ways to get your business in front of more people. So, I definitely get it – using Google products makes our lives more convenient.
Often, we don’t even realize we have a choice as Gmail, Chrome, Maps and more have become so prevalent. Going 100% away from Google may not even be desirable, especially if you are a business owner and rely on traffic to your website. But this article will hopefully shed some light on just what we are giving up in exchange for this convenience. (And hopefully doesn’t get me censored by Google for being a whistle blower).
Recently, I noticed a serious decline in my email open rates. I hadn’t changed anything, but my emails were suddenly being “quarantined,” meaning that my email provider was showing them as delivered, but they were not reaching my subscriber’s inbox. In most cases, these were Gmail accounts. That’s when I decided to dig a little deeper into Google censorship tactics and just how much control they have over our private information..
When you use the Google Keyword Tool, they show you the results they want you to see, namely keywords they want you to bid on to buy ads, not necessarily the keywords that make the most sense for what you are trying to rank for. In other words, they manipulate the results so they can sell you ads, rather than providing unbiased information. The same is true with their search results. In the June 2019 update of its search engine, Google changed the algorithm in such a way that whenever you entered a health-related search word into Google, Mercola articles were filtered out. This shows just how much control they have over the information we see online.
Google Censors Your Gmail Inbox
But it’s not just their search engine that’s a problem. Google also has the power to censor our personal emails if we’re using Gmail. As reported by Gawker, “Every word of every email sent through Gmail and every click made on a Chrome browser is permanently recorded by the company.”
The fact is, if you talk about skiing in your emails, you are likely to see skiing related ads. This is not a coincidence. And it is one of the reasons I do not use Gmail as my email provider. Yes, I have a Gmail account (you are required to if you use any Google services like YouTube), but the only thing I use it for is to sign in to those services, not for my email.
If you have a business, it has never been a good idea to use an email account like email@example.com, but instead to use firstname.lastname@example.org. In other words, use your own domain name, and do not link this to Gmail. This is much more professional besides not giving Google control over your personal information.
If you need an alternative to Gmail, I suggest switching to ProtonMail. This is a secure email service that provides end-to-end encryption to protect your content and other user data. They also provide an encrypted calendar, encrypted cloud storage and a free VPN.
I urge others who are still using Gmail to consider the dangers of relying on Google for their communications and to explore other options like ProtonMail. It’s not worth exchanging convenience and cost for our privacy and freedom.
Google — The Largest, Most Dangerous Monopoly in the World
As someone who spends a significant amount of time online, I’ve often thought about the impact that companies like Google have on our daily lives. From the search engine we use to find information, to the email service we rely on for communication, to the browser we access the internet with, it’s hard to escape the reach of Google.
As I delved deeper into the topic, I realized just how much data Google is collecting on us every single day. Every search query, every email, every location we visit, every video we watch on YouTube, every message we send through Gboard, every photo we upload, every Google Alert we receive, every purchase we make with Google Wallet or Google Shopping, every keystroke when using a Chromebook – Google catches our every move. All of this data is being collected and used to build a profile of who we are, what we’re interested in, and how we behave. This profile is then sold to third parties, and used by Google to influence our thoughts and behavior through AI analytics.
It’s important to note that Google is not just a search engine company, but also the world’s leading AI company, having purchased Deep Mind for $500 million in 2014. With the level of AI they possess, it’s not hard for them to sort through all of our data and find patterns to exploit.
We live in a world where technology has become a natural part of our everyday lives. We rely on it for communication, entertainment, and for gathering information. Unfortunately, with this reliance on technology, we have become increasingly vulnerable. Our personal data is being collected, analyzed, and used in ways that can have a profound effect on our freedom.
It’s time to take back our privacy and our freedom. We can start by ditching Google products, starting with Gmail. Google has become a major player in the world of data collection and corporate surveillance, and the only way to stop them is to take away their primary source of information: our emails. Without access to our emails, they can no longer collect our data and use it to their own advantage.
When we give up Gmail, we are taking a stand for our right to privacy and our right to freedom. We are protecting ourselves from a company that has become a master at collecting our data and using it to their own benefit. We are asserting our right to be in control of our own information. And we are declaring that our privacy is our right, and no one else’s.
But it’s not just Gmail that we need to be concerned about. We should also be wary of other Google products, such as Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Chrome, and the list goes on.
The power of Google is not to be underestimated. Their products are all interconnected and the data from each and every one of their services is used to construct a profile for each user. This profile is then sold to third parties who, in turn, use it to influence users’ thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
It’s a bit of an unsettling thought that an AI driven system can be used to manipulate us, but that is the reality of our current situation. Not only are our actions and search histories tracked, but Google also uses AI analytics to predict how we might behave in the future. This can be used to tailor advertisements and content to each individual user in order to influence their decisions.
It’s all too easy to get swept up in the convenience of Google’s services and fail to recognize the wider implications of its data collection. We must be aware of the power and potential misuse of this information that Google holds and take steps to protect our privacy. Ditching Google products is the only way to truly protect ourselves.
How to Oust Google From Your Life
If you’re looking to oust Google from your life, here are a few steps you can take.
First and foremost, switch to a secure document sharing service. Google Docs may be convenient, but it’s not the most private option out there. Consider using alternatives such as Zoho Office, Etherpad, CryptPad, OnlyOffice or Nuclino – all of which are recommended by NordVPN.
Next, delete all Google apps from your phone and purge any Google hardware you may have. This might mean saying goodbye to your Android phone and switching to another alternative. Additionally, avoid using Google’s smart home devices like Google Home or Nest, as these devices record everything that occurs in your home, even when they appear to be inactive, and send that information back to Google. This includes Amazon Alexa and similar devices which record every sound in our homes.
It’s also worth noting that many other companies that you may use daily are connected to Google. For example, Siri draws all its answers from Google, and Fitbit was recently purchased by Google, which means they will have access to all your physiological information and activity levels.
Finally, ditching Gmail and using a privacy-based encryption service like Proton Mail is a good idea. Additionally, stop using the Chrome browser and Google Search. Firefox is the overwhelming browser of choice and while you are there you can use the new Brave search engine.
It’s worth noting that breaking away from Google will take effort and time, but it’s a step towards regaining control of your personal information. It’s important to remember that Google is a business, and like any business, their primary goal is to make money. By taking these steps, you’ll be taking control of your personal information and putting your privacy first. Make no mistake, capturing user data is Google’s primary business. YOU are the real product being sold.