It’s time for the tech trick of the week where we tell you about nifty tricks to help you up your tech life. Today, we’re gonna talk to you about Google. Yes, that Google. Obviously, for most of us, Google is a fantastic tool to use for all those pressing questions you just need to know the answers to NOW. But you might notice that the search engine is doing more than telling you exactly what new movies are arriving on Netflix in November. It seems to KNOW a lot about you, like where you’ve been, what the last YouTube video was that you watched and it’s showing you ads for that adorable antler necklace you were thinking of getting your sister for Christmas.
Interconnectivity is both an incredible and slightly terrifying thing. While there are definitely benefits — because, yes, you are in fact interested in that article about Saved By the Bell group costumes since you just searched for “Kelly Kapowski Halloween costume ideas” — it can also feel a little creepy. Here’s how to find out all the things that Google knows about you, so that you might be able to customize exactly what the tech company can store about you.
First things first, you need to be signed into your Google+ account (it’s generally also your Gmail account). Under the Google Apps icon, there’s there “My Account” page. Under the “Personal info & privacy” section, click on “Activity Controls”
From there, you can see all the info Google has on you. Starting with “Your searches and browsing activity,” go to “Manage activity.” There, you’ll see your entire browser history. To delete just a selection of searches, you can click on the ones you want and press delete. To delete everything, tap on the Menu icon (it looks like three vertical dots) and select “Delete options.” From the pop-up, select “Advanced” and in the drop down, choose “All time.”
Other tabs you can control are places you go, information from your devices, your voice searches and commands, videos you’ve searched for and watched on YouTube. Yes, it’s a lot of info. There are individual pages for each of these. You can go to “Manage activity” to customize what you want or do not want Google to see. You can also choose to turn off these options entirely by toggling these options off.
On that page, you can also control ad settings and probably most interestingly, your account Dashboard. Your Dashboard contains all information from the total number of contacts you’ve got in your address book to the number of email convos you’ve had.
Pretty stalker-ish there, Google.
Will you be trying out this tech trick? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below!
(h/t Tech Insider)