The Internet is a great source of information and knowledge. However, it does demand a price for the promise of valuable info. It collects your information as you browse the web. From your searches to your presence on social media, you are leaving tracks every time you access the web. Companies like Google and Facebook have amassed a lot of valuable information of their users. This has risked the privacy of millions. But now, things are beginning to change. People are now wondering how much information these sites collect and give out to third parties. Users have become more aware and want to learn more about what they can do to protect their privacy online. There are some steps you can take to prevent Google from tracking you for instance.
Google admits that it stores your details – your searches, clicked ads, watched videos, and many other things. Google claims that it does this to enhance your experience. However, you gain ease of use by paying in terms of privacy.
If you’re a privacy conscious user, you can turn off the tracking features. Visit Google My Activity.
Once you’re signed in, you will see just how much data on you has already been stored. It saves your data from multiple devices that are synced together.
How to Switch Off Google Tracking
To prevent Google’s auto-tracking, click on the menu icon on the top right on the My Activity window. Select Activity Controls. Once you’re there, you will find six segments:
Web & App Activity
Voice and Audio activity
YouTube Search History
YouTube Watch History
If you don’t want Google to track any of your activities, turn all of them off. However, keep in mind that this will also stop you from getting suggestions from Google.
If you want Google to stop tracking you temporarily, you can use the Incognito mode on your Chrome browser. The activities you perform in Incognito will remain private. And once you use the regular mode of your browser, Google will start tracking you again.
How Do I Get Rid of My Location History?
To delete the location history saved by Google, visit the location history page. You’ll be shown a map of your current location. On the bottom right corner, you’ll see the delete icon. Click on it to delete all location history.
Turning Off Location History
The Location History feature can be turned off from the My Activity page. Once that is done, your location data will not be stored. So Google will not get to know about the places you visit.
How Do I Get Rid of Location History from My Android Device?
Open Google settings on your Android device.
Select Location and go to Google Location History.
You can see a slider there. It is ON by default. Click on it to turn it off.
There will also be an option to delete Location history. Click on it.
This will delete all previous location history and stop your device from recording any future location information.
How Do I Disable Voice & Audio Activity?
If you didn’t know already, Google does record your voice along with audio. It might also record audio for a few seconds before you click the mic icon or say “Okay Google”. This means your phone might be listening to your conversations all the time! In some devices, it’s impossible to turn the Okay Google feature off. If your phone device allows the Okay Google feature to be turned off, you can follow these steps:
Go to Activity Controls
Turn off Voice and Audio Activity.
This will pause your audio activity on all your devices. However, there are many users who complain that no matter what they do, the Okay Google feature won’t go away.
Check the Voice and Audio Data
This contains all the voice and audio messages you have used to interact with Google. For example, if you asked the Google assistant for something, that will be recorded here. Just go to Voice and Audio activity from Activity Controls and you’ll be able to see all your stored data.
Please remember that sometimes if there is background noise or the mic is off, the message “Transcript not Available” will show.
How to Delete This Data
Delete Individual Recordings
Log in and go to Voice & Audio Activity.
Select the item to delete and click on Details.
Click on the menu in the pop-up icon and select Delete.
This will delete an individual record.
Delete All Data
Log in and go to Voice & Audio Activity.
To the top left, there will be a “Delete activity by” option. Click on it.
Go to “Delete by date,” and select All time.
Click on Delete.
Use A Virtual Private Network
If you are worried about Google knowing so much about you, installing a Virtual Private Network is the best option. A VPN keeps your browsing history private and makes your online activities more secure. By connecting to a VPN server, you get to hide your IP address and encrypt all of your Internet traffic. Here are the best VPN services you can use to add an extra layer of security and privacy to all your online dealings. For a more detailed review and more info about VPN, please read this review.
In case you want to go completely offline, a Swiss website can help you do just that. Deseat.me uses Google’s OAuth protocol to retrieve all accounts and delete them.
Visit Deseat.me and type in your Gmail address. Then you will be given a list of all accounts linked to that address and you can delete them.
How to Stop Google from Tracking You – Conclusion
The Internet is keeping a track of all your activities. There are several tech giants that are after your data, and they have several ways to get your precious information. But it’s not like you can’t do anything about it. With just a few changes in your settings, you can keep your online activities hidden. Follow the tips give above to stay hidden from Google.
Streaming gadgets geek. Interested in every little thing there is to know about bypassing regional restrictions. An avid believer in the right to protect online privacy. Charles has also reviewed plenty of VPN service providers and knows how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.