You Need To Take Control of Google Dashboard To Prevent Data Theft

Google Dashboard

Surfers ride the wave of information provided on the Internet willingly and with pretty fierce demands. Typically, we want our queries to be intuitive to the search engine, no matter how cryptic and vague they might be. In return for our sometimes perplexing inputs, we want our searches to return precise results, in blazing fast speed.

For its part, Google has pretty much lived up to our expectations -- and has continually improved its tools to help us in our quests. So, we're fairly happy. Except that all that information -- including our own -- is being mined by other people.

And that's what has people alarmed about Google Dashboard. Google Dashboard is a new service that shows a summary of the data stored within a Google account. There is a link to Google Dashboard in the personal settings of the "my account" page. From there, users can edit preferences and get an idea of what exactly Google knows about them. It's worth noting too, the personal information is what the individual has provided to Google, and can be changed at any time by that user.

Of course, the service is password protected, but obviously, that means little if a hacker gets in. So it's incumbent upon the user of Google products (Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, e.g.) to take a look inside his or her "dashboard" and see what's there. Mark it on the calendar for a once a month perusal and take control of all that data.

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The challenges associated with indexed information and fact that it's not terribly difficult to discover sensitive information using search queries is not unique to Google. The more users demand fast, accurate search, the more challenging this problem will become.

The beauty of the Internet is the vast amount of data that can be mined in seconds. Users need to be responsible for their own information to help prevent misuse of stored data. That's not certainly a cure-all, but it's a good start.