In order to provide content that speaks to you and connects you with people that have similar interests, social media websites need to know everything about you, which they then monetize. It’s an exchange that we’re well aware off, but one that’s made waves and sparked controversy during the last couple of years.
Your online information can be shared, sold, and deleted, all without you knowing it — something that really sucks now that social media has become an archive of our memories and creative work. The more active you are online, the more likely it is for your social media profiles to be filled with important stuff, which is why it’s necessary to protect this information and to have back ups. Popular Science compiled a list of companies that gather your data, and how you can download your data back from them. Check out some of the most prominent ones.
If you go to Google’s My Activity page, you’ll see a list of everything you’ve done using Google products, which tends to be a pretty high number. Most people use Google search, Maps, YouTube, Google Assistant, and more. If targeted ads freak you out, or if you simply want to get rid of your history, you can head over to this page and delete your activity.
In a move that’s not at all creepy, Amazon keeps a log of all of your Alexa voice requests. Now that you’ve processed that information, you can delete these by heading over to the devices page and clicking on “Actions.” Know that by deleting these recordings you’ll be limiting your Alexa’s knowledge and learning capabilities.
This is one of the company who owns most content from you, so downloading your entire data from them will rob you of a few gigabytes of storage space. There’s a lot of creepy yet interesting things you can find about yourself on Facebook, like a map of the places you’ve been or the stage of life you find yourself in. Facebook is creepy, we all know that, but we could still use a refresher every now now and then.
If you love your tweets, you can download your data by heading to this link, which takes you to your account settings. You only need to have your twitter connected to your email address to be able to download your data.