Ever Wondered Why You See Personalised Ads…

Ever Wondered Why You See Personalised Ads…

We all (well most of us anyway) use social media and Google and increasingly we will see adverts appear in our search results or timeline. Did you know that these large technology companies know quite a lot about you, your likes and wants – that is how they know which adverts you might be more interested in.

Are you aware that you can see what information Google holds about you? You can just go to the following address – https://adssettings.google.com – they will ask you to logon to your account if you are not already logged in. From here you can see all the preferences that have been set for you. Things like your age, sex, interests etc. and from here you can either completely turn off this personalisation or tweak it to make it more accurate, it’s your choice.

Also….did you know that Facebook gathers information about you and receives information about you from other companies? This is called “off-Facebook activity”. Let’s say that you buy a TV online and that online shop is setup to share that purchase with Facebook through their business tools. That purchase is then saved to your Facebook account and is used to provide relevant advertising to you in the future. So, for example you might see adverts for discount vouchers relevant to your TV purchase (Netflix discounts for example).

If you find this type of sharing of your activity a little unnerving then you can turn it off inside your Facebook account, in order to do this, you need to logon to Facebook and go to Settings & Privacy > Settings >Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook Activity > Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity – yes, they really hide that option away don’t they!

Once here you can see all the companies that have shared information about you, so if you want to stop future interactions you need to select Manage Future Activity > Manage Future Activity (yes twice!) and toggle the button next to Future Off-Facebook Activity to turn it off – it is no surprise that they make this particularly difficult to do, of course.

It is quite interesting to see the information that these organisations hold on us. Knowledge is power they say, so make sure that you allow them only to have the information you are happy with them knowing.