How to Get Rid of Targeted Advertising From Google

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If you browse the Web even a little, you've almost certainly noticed how many Google ads are targeted to your specific interests. Google uses your search history, your browsing history and even your Google account information to show ads it thinks are more likely to interest you. Google is quite open about this policy, and gives you the choice of opting out of these personalized ads, although you must do it separately for each Web browser you use. You can also eliminate targeted Google ads in mobile applications by changing your Android or iOS settings.

Google 'Opt-Out' Option

  • Navigate to Google's Ad Settings page.

  • Click both "Opt Out" links on the page. One of the links allows you to opt out of targeted advertising while you use Google Search, Gmail and other Google websites, while the other allows you to get rid of targeted Google AdSense ads on other websites. You will need to confirm your choice each time you click a link.

  • Click the "DoubleClick Opt Out Extension" link on the page to install a Google browser add-on that will make your selection permanent. Without this extension, you will lose your settings the next time you clear your browser's cookies, and you will begin seeing targeted Google ads again. The extension is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

  • Repeat these steps for each browser you use, including those on other computers.

Android Devices

Apple Devices

  • Tap "Settings" on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch home screen.

  • Tap "Privacy" and then "Advertising" if your device uses iOS 7. For devices using iOS 6, tap "General," "About" and then "Advertising."

  • Slide the "Limit Ad Tracking" button to the right.

Tips & Warnings

  • Eliminating targeted advertising does not remove the ads altogether; it simply means you will see general ads that are not based on your history and profile information.
  • Dozens of other companies besides Google also use targeted advertising. You can opt out of many other companies' targeted advertising from the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising website, which works in cooperation with the advertising companies. You can also block tracking cookies that allow targeted advertising by installing a free browser extension such as DoNotTrackMe, Disconnect or Privacy Badger.

References

  • Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images
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