Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Changing Google and Amazon targeted ads, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- Both the websites Google and Amazon create targeted ads based on your surfing habits or products that you've looked at or purchased. You can control these. You can't stop the ads all together, but you can control what they are and how they relate to you. So, this can protect your privacy If it's starting to recommend things that are a little too close to home for your comfort level that keep popping up on your screen all the time. Let's look at the Google ad settings first. To find out what demographics Google is using to serve you ads, visit the website: www.google.com/ads/preferences.
When you visit this site, you'll see the settings for Google ads that you see across all Google products, like Searching, Gmail, YouTube, even Google Maps. You can see what gender it has set for you and your age, and you can visit your Google profile from here to change those digits. You can change your interests. These are where the ads are coming from. Now, it chooses these interests based on your previous search activity. You can either click edit and change those directly, or you can click Opt out right at the bottom to opt out of interest based ads altogether.
Now you'll still see ads, but they're not going to be ads that are based on the things that you're searching for. So remember, google.com/ads/preferences. This will bring you into the Google settings for their ads. Let's head over to Amazon now and see how they do it. When you log into Amazon, it knows who you are, it shows you your account section, and it also shows you some product recommendations, both on the home screen and while you're navigating through the site.
So how does it pick those recommendations? We can find out by clicking Recommended for and then clicking on your name right on the home page. From here, I'm gonna see some product recommendations. These are things that I could see on the home page, or while I was browsing. I have a few links at the top. I have a list of my browsing history, a list of products that's recommended for me, and then a way here to improve my recommendations. I can select any of these options to fine tune the things I see on Amazon. But sometimes you don't want something showing up at all.
Maybe it's something you search for, or it's something that you purchased, maybe you bought something as a gift, and now it's skewing all future recommendations for products for something that you're not interested in at all, you were just buying it for somebody else. You can turn off that recommendation. Here's a list of things that were previously bought. I can click on Why recommended? and Amazon is going to tell me why I saw it there. So it's showing me this product because this, in fact, something that I had already bought. I have two choices here: I can click on This was a gift, in which I'm telling Amazon that it was a gift for somebody else, or I can also say Don't use this for recommendations, this way it won't filter any other product results based on this product.
So there are a lot of things that you can do to target your web settings, both with Amazon and with Google. It's just a matter of taking the time to go through those settings and see how these sites are serving you their ads.
- Installing updates
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