Despite the short shrift Google’s attempt at social networking gets, it’s really just one face of the massive, many-headed hydra that is Google: think Gmail, Google Maps, Docs, Drive, Play, YouTube, Android and scads more. But while Google collects a lot of the same info Facebook does (and beyond), it’s a little more transparent about it, and in many cases, lets you look under the hood to see some of what’s going on. The difficulty is that, like all Google products, the controls are very granular, so there are tons of options to fiddle with.

Your first choice is to consider the nuclear option in order to thwart the Goog’s switch last year, which forced users to consolidate their accounts across 60 properties. (Yeah, it was a little controversial.) Your only resort to not have what for many will be a nearly comprehensive view of your entire online existence consolidated is to ditch all your previous accounts and start new ones for as many services as possible, using a variety of email addresses. Then you can go back and make a few key changes to your original account.

1. Disable Your Web History

After a humbling peek, eliminate what Google knows you’ve been searching for.