For anyone who has ever complained about Google recording everything you do but has never gone to the trouble of adjusting your various privacy settings, I'd like to introduce you to Google Dashboard.
Google Dashboard is a one-stop shop for access into your settings for 20 Google different products and services - Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and even Google-owned YouTube and Picasa, among others. From there, you can access the settings - and view some analytics - for each of the products and change whichever ones you don't like. From the Google blog post:
Today, with hundreds of millions of people using those products around the world, we are very aware of the trust that you have placed in us, and our responsibility to protect your privacy and data. In the past, we've taken numerous steps in this area, investing in educating our users with our Privacy Center, making it easier to move data in and out of Google with our Data Liberation Front, and allowing you to control the ads you see with interest-based advertising. Transparency, choice and control have become a key part of Google's philosophy, and today, we're happy to announce that we're doing even more.
This is Google's second announcement this week that takes security of its users into consideration. Earlier this week, the company put up a blog post about the continued efforts in "hybrid onboarding," the ability to create accounts on third-party sites using your Google account sign-on information. The idea is to eliminate the need for original user names and passwords on so many different accounts. Google - and others - still have a long way to go on that front - but at least this is a start.
Back to Google Dashboard, it wasn't until I logged on that I realized just how deeply entrenched I am into the Google world - Docs, Mail, Calendar, Blogger, Reader, Voice... the list goes on. And so, I spent 20 minutes today going through the settings for each of my accounts.
Already, I feel more secure.