How to Password-Protect Your Google Search History and More – Gizmodo2 min read

https://gizmodo.com/how-to-password-protect-your-google-search-history-and-1846963177

Illustration for article titled How to Password-Protect Your Google Search History and More

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Google’s added a new way to keep other people’s prying eyes out of your search history, YouTube faves, and more. As first spotted by Android Police, the company has started prompting users to password-protect their Web and Activity page, which shows off a person’s history across a slew of Google services.

This added password protection is just one of the privacy buffs that Google’s been rolling out after this month’s Google I/O event. This includes a new optional locked folder you can add to your Google Photos account and a new quick-delete toggle that lets you automatically scrub the last 15 minutes of your Google search history.

What does my Google Activity page show, anyway?

If you’ve never checked your Activity page, you might be shocked at just how many Google services you probably end up using on the regular. The page doesn’t only store your history across Chrome and YouTube, it also stores your location history across Google Maps, your recent voice commands made to your Google-powered smart speaker, and any calls or messages you might have made using Google Voice or Google Fi.

Why would I want to password-protect my Google searches?

If you happen to leave yourself logged into your Google account on a shared computer, then that means just about anyone can hop on and see how you use these services—unless you turn on this extra verification step.

How do I add a password to my Google search history and other online activity?

Thankfully, it’s a snap to activate these added protections. Here are the steps.

  1. Simply go to the Web and App Activity tab under myactivity.google.com.
  2. Tap the “Manage My Activity verification” button.
  3. Choose “require extra verification,” and Google will start prompting you to re-enter your account password before letting you browse through your account history.
  4. If you’re extra nervous about your history leaking out, you might also want to consider manually deleting your activity history, or setting up pre-scheduled deletions to automatically wipe your digital footprint for you.

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