Every time you’re looking for quick solutions online, it’s very likely that you will first search on Google. With personal assistants like Siri and Google Assistant on your smartphones, it’s now even more convenient and quick to fire those questions/key phrases and get the right answers in just fractions of a second. Isn’t it cool? But, do you know that Google tracks your each and every activity and possibly knows everything about you – your likes, dislikes, your current location and even your personal interests? And then it’s not a surprise when you see targeted ads on your iPhone / android devices!
In a digital world where the assurance of your privacy has been reduced to a mere travesty, it’s important to learn how to rein in and play safe. In this article, we will learn how to erase your search history and stop Google altogether from tracking your search history, location and everything that you do online!
Whenever a user interacts with one or more Google products, Google collects a variety of data whether or not the users are signed in. For signed-in users, this data is stored securely at your My Activity dashboard. However, for signed-out users, this data is stored temporarily with Google using unique identifiers like information about your web browser, operating system, your Internet Service Provider, your geographic location, your computer/mobile device and so on. According to Google, they track your activity like your search terms on Google Search, YouTube, Maps, and even Google Play. Google does this to customize your overall experience and make it more relevant and useful for you.
Here is a short video by Google that explains it all.
You must have seen advertisements on Google/blogs/websites, especially relevant to something that you searched on Google some hours or even days ago. That’s because of Google tracking your search history and greeting you with relevant and targeted advertisements that you might be interested in checking out. Not interested and want to opt out? Let’s fine tune your privacy settings.
Steps Required To Stop Google From Tracking Your Search History, Location and All Other Activities
Step 1: Visit your Google Account Dashboard.
Step 2: On the left-hand sidebar, click on “Data and Personalization”
Step 3: Scroll down to “Activity Controls“.
Step 4: Now review and uncheck everything you’re uncomfortable with. That is it.
Once you try to pause an activity, Google will show a pop-up message like this:
“Pausing Web & App Activity may limit or disable more personalized experiences across Google services. For example, you may stop seeing more relevant search results or recommendations about places you care about.”
Safely ignore this and click on “Pause”. That’s it. This will stop Google from tracking your search history forever.
How To Delete All Your Google Activities?
Pausing your activities doesn’t delete the old records that have already been tracked in Google’s servers. To do this, you must delete all the activities since the beginning of the time. Here’s how you do this:
Step 1: Visit this link – https://myactivity.google.com/delete-activity
Step 2: Select the time frame and the type of activity you wish to delete.
Once you delete such records, you’ll no longer see relevant ads, recommendations and other personalized experiences by Google.
Here is a short video by Google that explains everything that happens across such a deletion process:
Bonus Tips For Anonymous Browsing
I agree that there are sometimes situations when you need to browse anonymously without the fear of being tracked online. Here are some tips to help you with such situations:
- Sign-out of your Google account and browse through the incognito window of your web browser.
- The above-mentioned tip doesn’t hide your browsing details from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you wish to browse even privately, leaving no traces for your ISP, it’s recommended that you use a reputed Virtual Private Network (VPN) app like NordVPN or CyberGhost. It masks your true IP address by giving you a proxy geographic location IP to choose from.
You may also find this post interesting: How to remove my personal information from Google?
I really hope that you have found this article helpful and interesting. Should you have any questions, please leave your comments below.
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