Although you know it’s happening, it can still be an eerie feeling to know your online activity is being so meticulously tracked. Here are some things you can do to make your presence online more discreet.


Facebook is notorious for tracking user data. There are many steps you can take to adjust your privacy settings. Access the Settings & Privacy section of your settings from the main menu on a browser or in the app. From here, you can run a Privacy Checkup, where you can see what information you’re currently sharing on your profile—like your birthday, email, and relationship status—and who you share that information with. You can also review your data settings, ad preferences, and more in your checkup.


Google is another platform known to collect a lot of data on users. One way you can protect yourself is by turning off your Ad Personalization. To do this, open the Google Chrome web browser, click your account in the top-right corner, then click Manage Your Google Account. (You can also find this setting in other Google apps, such as Gmail, while using other browsers.) Under the Privacy and Personalization section, click Manage Your Data and Privacy. Here, after clicking Ad Personalization, you’ll be able to see the topics and profile Google has built to target you with ads based on your browsing. You can turn this setting off, and by doing so, Google claims it, “will not collect or use information to create an ad profile or personalize ads Google shows you.” There are other privacy settings you can explore in the Data & Privacy section, like whether the platform can use your location.

You will find similar options to change your privacy settings on many websites, social media platforms, and apps. If you want to make your digital footprint more private, take some time to view and adjust your privacy settings.