We live in a world where our data and personal interests are most valuable. While it can be difficult to completely exclude websites and services from tracking your history and creating an advertising profile for you, there are still ways to stop or minimize personalized ads and search results.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to prevent these personalized results from appearing on the Internet, on websites, and while watching videos.
We will be looking for the best methods you can use to avoid displaying personalized results on major platforms from Youtube and Google to Facebook and Instagram
Stop personalized results and ads on Google products
We’ll start with the company with arguably the largest presence on the Internet; Google. First, let’s take a look at how to turn off personalized ads.
This will prevent Google from showing you ads related to your search and profile, generated by Google based on your previous browsing and shopping habits.
To do this, go to my Google account page and select “Data and Personalization” in the upper left corner.
Then scroll down this page and find the ad personalization section. Click Go to ad settings and click the button to turn off ad personalization. If you disable this feature, you will no longer see personalized ads on YouTube, in Google search results, or on websites that use Google ads.
According to W3techs, this is roughly 30% of all websites. The most popular websites often use Google ads, so chances are that most of the websites you visit will be covered with these ads.
Now is the time to turn off personalized Google search results. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to stop Google from collecting data about what you’re looking for, so if you want an alternative, try DuckDuckGo
However, you can still edit your Google Chrome search so that every search you perform will show you anonymized results. To do this, click the settings menu (three dots in a row) in the upper right corner of Chrome, then click Settings.
In the settings menu, scroll down to the “Search Engines” section and click on “Manage Search Engines”.
Then click “Add” just above “Other Search Engines” and then enter the information below in the fields provided:
- Search Engine – Personalization Disabled – Google
- Key word – to
- URL – http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q=%s
Click Add after entering the correct information.
Now all you have to do is start any search with the keyword “per” at the beginning so that it is automatically directed through that anonymized search URL.
Turn off personalized ads on Facebook and Instagram
Now that we’ve removed personalized ads and searches from YouTube and Google, it’s time to tackle the next largest internet company, Facebook.
To turn off personalized ads on Facebook websites, go to Facebook and click the drop-down arrow next to the notification bar in the upper right corner. In the drop-down menu that appears, click “Settings.”
On the settings page, click Ads on the left. On the Announcements page, you will have several options to choose from. Here are some examples of what you can do here.
You can block ads based on data from partners, including data that Facebook has collected about you when you browse other non-Facebook websites on the Internet.
You can block ads based on the activity of your Facebook product – disabling this setting will stop Facebook from using data collected from Facebook, Instagram or any other Facebook products for advertising. Facebook will continue to collect this data, but ads will not be personalized based on this information.
You can also hide certain information to stop further personalization and change some privacy settings, or hide certain topics and categories of ads on this page.
So, this guide will guide you through the steps to stop personalized ads and search results across Google and Facebook products. This will cover most of the average internet activity.
If you need extra control, your best bet is to use alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo, avoid creating a Google account, use a VPN, and browse in incognito mode.
Even after these attempts, companies like Facebook and Google may still be able to create a profile based on the websites you visit, your browsing habits, and location or hardware information passed to browsers when you visit.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to completely stop such tracking on the Internet, but with the right precautions, you can definitely minimize it, or at least change the impact of your personal information on the search results and ads you see.
If you have any questions about this topic, do not forget to leave a comment and I will try to answer you as soon as I can.