Google holds sway over more than two thirds of the search market in the UK, but its products, such as Gmail and Google+, allow it to suck up data from millions more users on a daily basis.
Since you may well send financial information via your Gmail account or try to search for financial products via Google's search engine, you might be unaware just how much this company knows about your money situation.
So just how much data does Google collect from its users and what can it tell about you and your finances based on your online activities?
There is no doubt that Google stores large amounts of information about its users, although you should not necessarily be concerned about this because it does so to help make its products better, not for some kind of Big Brother style implementation of control over customers.
Google is more interested in targeting ads at you when you send or receive an email or enter a search term than in actually exploiting your details directly. Nevertheless, this gradual manipulation means that it might present different results when searching for financial services for you than for another user who has a different history.
Google actually has its own finance-oriented service called Google Advisor, which collates various credit cards, savings accounts, loan offers and many more products from various major banks and companies. This is currently available only in America and so could have limited appeal outside of the States.
It is important to make the distinction between the types of data that Google stores for you and those over which you have control.
Firstly, there is the content you generate and provide actively to Google yourself, whether it be by uploading a picture to Google+ or by saving a draft email on your Gmail account.
Secondly, there is the data that is logged every time you browse a Google site or search using its engine, which is stored locally on your computer in the form of a cookie.
Significantly, this second category of data, which is automatically generated, is not considered to be enough to identify individuals by and can be erased simply by clearing your temporary browser files and cookies.
The end result is that the user has a good degree of control over what kind of information is available to a Google site each time you visit it via your web browser.
If you choose to get rid of the details about your previous searches then you can do so and start from a clean slate, so Google will have less of a grasp of your personal financial situation.
Of course the problem over Google's opacity when it comes to data storage is not one that will disappear, but it looks like users need not feel overly concerned provided they are careful with their details.
It is not advisable to hand out any account information or other sensitive financial data online unless you are entirely comfortable with doing so. While Google permeates further into the lives of many web users, it is intending to act as a positive force, rather than one which should be mistrusted.
What it is important to remember is that Google is not the only company out there that you can use to search the web and seek out financial products and bad credit credit cards.
To get the broadest possible pool of knowledge and offers, it makes sense to read expert advice, search carefully and use your discretion before making any kind of commitment or actively parting with personal data.