How to erase your data to remove your life from Google’s grip

Topic: How to erase your data to remove your life from Google’s grip

I use Google for so many things, from looking things up, handing my email and calendar, video chatting with my team, to peeking in on the Nest cam in my mother’s living room. The company provides a slew of really great products. But you have to remember, you are also a product in their profit stream.

Lately, there’s been an anti-Google movement with more people interested in options. You can use a different search site that won’t track you. There are also private email servers and video sites that aren’t YouTube.

Google Play Music is shutting down, which means all those songs you’ve gathered over the years could be lost forever. You can transfer your music collection over to YouTube Music and that likely means a paid subscription. If you want control and no monthly fees, set up your own music server.

Here are some ways that Google has control over your data and what you can do about it.

1. Blur your house on Google Maps

As convenient as Google Maps and Street View is, it can be unnerving when your house and address number are visible to anyone in a photo. You can request a privacy blur over any pictures of your home:

Open Google Maps or the Street View gallery and look up your address.
Find and open the Street View photo you want to have blurred. The image has to show your face, home, or other identifying information.
In the bottom right, click Report a problem. Complete the form.
Click Submit.
Once the photo is reported and blurred, there’s no way for Google to reverse it. Make sure you’re 100% certain about removing the image.

Related: You have a public profile on Amazon. Here are 5 privacy settings every Amazon shopper needs to check now.

Topic Discussed: How to erase your data to remove your life from Google’s grip