Today is the start of Privacy Awareness Week, an annual event across Asia Pacific to remind everyone to take steps to protect their privacy and safeguard personal information online.

At Google we take our users’ privacy and security very seriously. We build transparency, choice and security into our products, starting with the earliest stages of product design.  In fact, we have a team of more than 300 world-class engineers and product managers who spend all day, every day, thinking about this. You can read more about our approach to privacy here.

Privacy Awareness Week is a great opportunity for Australians to learn more about the security features and privacy tools we offer. Here are a few to get you started.

Google Dashboard: This is a tool that offers signed-in users a simple view of the data associated with their Google Account. From this one central location, you can easily change your privacy settings for any Google services you use, from Blogger to Gmail, from search to YouTube.

Two-step verification: This feature helps protect your Google Account from threats like password compromise and identity theft.  To sign into your account, you’ll enter your normal username and password, and then you’ll be asked to enter a 6-digit code, which will be sent to your phone.

Ads Preferences Manager: From this one place, you can view and edit the information Google uses to show ads on Google search and Gmail, and interest-based ads on websites in Google’s ad network. You can add or edit information to affect how ads are selected, or opt-out of seeing customised ads altogether.

These are just a few in a range of privacy tools and measures you can take to ensure you have meaningful control of your privacy. For more information about Privacy Awareness Week, visit the website.

Posted by Ishtar Vij, Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google Australia and New Zealand