Google has been quite invasive in our personal lives via our web preferences and Internet-related activities. Tracking our emails, navigation, saved places, online retail transactions, and other aspects of our web presence have helped Google thrive financially in the global tech industry. By the time we have realized what Google is taking from us under our noses in exchange for its extravagant services, we have become too dependent on it.
However, the least we can do is probably save our search history from Google’s eyes. Google has access to our searches on its search engine or other owned platforms, regardless of which browser or device we use. Ironically, Google Settings itself has an option to disable search and web activity tracking. Let’s see how you can disable Google from monitoring your searches.
Using Any Browser on PC
Sign into your Google account on the preferred browser that you use for daily internet-related work. And then follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Google My Activity
Once signed into Google, click here. This URL will take you to your My Activity dashboard.
Step 2: Click on Go to your Web & App Activity
This option would be available right below the search bar. When you’ll click on it, you’ll be redirected to Web & App Activity Settings.
Step 3: Edit Web % App Activity Settings
As you can see, the Web & App Activity is on. To turn this feature off, click on that Edit button.
Step 4: Turn Web Activity Tracker off
The toggle in red select is what you need to turn off; once done, your data regarding web activity on Google would be of Google’s tracks and wouldn’t be monitored at all.
If the CheckBox in green select is also on, it means you’ve given Google permission to also track your other searches on the browser as well, which would give Google more user information to apparently “personalize” your experience, which we are aware of what it actually means.
Not just your web activity, you can also use this window to turn off other trackers that allow Google to peek into your searches on YouTube, Maps, as well as information on your device. Let’s see how.
Disable Google’s Activity Tracking over YouTube, Maps, and Device
Step 1: Open All Activity Controls
Right below the option where you turn off Web & App Activity toggle, you’ll see an option Show All Activity Controls. Click on that to view what other information Google can track via your searches and internet connectivity.
Step 2: Make sure the activity tracking is paused
Here you’ll see Location History, Device Information, Voice & Audio Activity, and YouTube Search options.
Make sure all these toggles are off and that every Activity option show (Paused) written in brackets. This indicates that Google is no longer tracking your activity in real-time.
Not by your searches on its search engine and other app services at least.
Disable Web Activity in Smartphone
But most of our activities are now done via our smartphones, which are no less than a computer at your fingertips. So here’s how you can manage to turn off Web & App Activity on your Google Account via your smartphone.
Step 1: Open Google App on your Phone.
Google App is a default download on Androids. However, for iPhone users who use Google services can get the Google App on the Apple App Store.
This is what your Google App interface would look like. Tap on More button once you reach here.
Step 2: Select Your Data In Search
Once you tap on More, you’d be redirected to this window. Here tap on the option marked in red to view all the data that Google has saved in store via your every activity on its Chrome browser, YouTube, Map, Google Assistant voice searches, and even Google Play Store preferences.
Step 3: Scroll Down to Google Wide Controls
When you tap on Your Data in Search, you’ll be redirected to this window,
Keep scrolling down until you find Google-wide controls. Once there, the first option you’ll see would be the Web & Activity option.
Step 4: Edit Web & App Activity
Just like we did for PC, tap on that edit button and switch the toggle for Web & Activity off. Tapping on edit would first take you to your Google My Activity via a browser installed on your phone, where you can finally turn the toggle off.
And with that, you can turn off the data Google is snatching off from your internet activities on your phone.
Step 5: Disable tracking on all Google services
Besides, just like PC, you can turn off your YouTube search tracking, Location traces, and Audio and Voice activity on your phone as well. You can do that by tapping on See All Activity under Google-wide Controls.
Once you tap on that, you’ll be redirected to the browser and you can choose to pause the Location and YouTube search activities from there.
That way, you can get Google off your backs and protect your personal internet preferences and usage information.
Yes, Google will never fell short of procuring your data and it may always find a way to get to you. But this way, you at least don’t have to worry about peeking on your web activity every single second when you access its services or in case of any other sites via its browser. This might not be the way to completely get Google off your internet activities, but it surely would be highly effective in saving minute details of your web choices landing at Google’s in the name of personalization and user-oriented search experience.
However, trusting Google that it won’t take your data is something difficult to believe upon. In that case, it’s always wise to use an identity protection tool to ensure that you have wiped off all traces of your presence from the internet. And Advanced Identity Protector is the best deal you’ve got there.
Advanced Identity Protector
Advanced Identity Protector is a tool that helps you scan your computer for the traces of your personal information that is stored in the form of cookies or other login operations. These traces contain highly confidential information in regard to your identity and personal information.
Here are a few features that Advanced Identity Protector holds to help you monitor your safety on the internet.
- Scan for Traces:
Advanced Identity Protector scans the web browsers for potential traces of saved personal information. This includes email IDs, passwords, credit card numbers, and other login details. We often save our addresses, bank credentials, and IDs, especially if we are accessing social media platforms or e-retail websites. There is a high risk of this information being extracted by hackers. Advanced Identity Protector scans browsers and lays out all the sites and traces that have saved any such information. Once the scan is completed, you can delete these traces and clean off your browsers of any personal details that may pose a threat of identity theft and information abuse.
- Secret Vault:
Possibly, you have saved a few passwords just because it’s uneasy to remember too many login credentials in case you use multiple accounts and passwords. Using different passwords is a good practice; however, saving them openly on browsers is not. But Advanced Identity Protector solves that issue for you. AIP has an in-built Secure Vault, where you can store all your credentials, login passwords, and IDs. The Vault takes in all information completely encrypted and is only accessible by the user.
- Scan Email Clients
Emails are the best means for hackers to carry out phishing attempts and inject the malicious file into their computers via attachments. Advanced Identity protector scan mail clients for any passwords or login credentials that may have been saved with them. AIP works proficiently with Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook clients.
- File Formats
AIP scans all kind of file formats including spreadsheets, PDFs, and presentations for identity traces.
- Scan Windows Registry
The traces of your personal information are sometimes left intact in the Windows Registry. AIP scans through the entire registry for any such information and lets you delete it or save it in the secure vault.
You can learn how to use Advanced Identity Protector as a tool to keep yourself protected against identity theft here.
It’s hard to determine if Google would ever let you off its sight, given the fact that its entire business model depends on it. Thus, if you are unsure that turning off Activity access would do you no good, you can download Advanced Identity Protector and cross this concern off your list.