Google dominates the global search engine market with more than 90 percent share. The search engine is the default search option on iOS, Android, and Mac. Even desktop browsers like Safari have also opted for Google as a search provider. The company tracks all movements, activities and search queries of a user in order to target personalized ads and improve its services with all the collected data.
Google has been accused of tracking a user’s location on Android, even when it’s turned off. The European Commission fined the company $1.7 billion for abusive practices and antitrust behavior by restricting rivals.
And to Google’s credit, the company has been more transparent about all the data it collects, even allowing the user to manage the data and delete it using a web account.
In this post, we will guide you through the steps to delete Google activities, search history, third-party app data collection, and even delete your account. We’ll also talk about the security measures you should take to further control your account.
View and delete your Google activity
I understand. You can always delete Google search history from any browser. But did you know that the company even tracks which apps you used at what time and other related data? To manage them, you must use the Google web account.
Follow the steps below to manage Google activity.
Step 1: Visit google.com in the browser and sign in with your credentials.
Step 2: From the home page, go to data and custom options.
Step 3: Go to the my activity tab in the activity menu and timeline.
You can see all search history, app usage, YouTube history and other data. Users can tap the delete button by date.
If that’s tiring for you, you can tap the remove activity option and choose a custom range. Add the date range and delete the activities and search history between those days.
By default, Google tracks everything from Chrome, YouTube, location, and destination based ads. However, you can customize that.
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From the Google home page, go to data and personalization > manage your controls in the Activity menu. Here you can see the details that Google collects about you. Just uncheck the menu you don’t want Google to crawl.
You can turn off ad personalization if you’re tired of seeing ads for Amazon items you’ve searched for on the shopping site.
delete location history
Based on the location of your device and the use of Google Maps, Google tracks every movement of your location. However, you can delete the collected history from the Google account.
Go to Google Home > data and personalization > Timeline under Activity and Timeline, and you’ll see detailed statistics about your visits over the past few years.
Tap the Settings button at the bottom and choose to remove all Location History options. Additionally, you can pause your location history and even set the service to automatically delete your location history in the future.
Revoke third-party app access to your Google account
Do you always use the Sign up with Google option when creating a new account in a third-party app? Even after you stop using the app and delete it from your device, the service will retain your Google data such as name, email, date of birth, etc.
Google allows you to revoke access of third-party applications to your Google account. Here’s how to do it.
Go to your Google account > Security > Manage third-party access. Here you’ll see a list of third-party apps that have access to your Google account.
You can tap on the unwanted ones and select remove access. I suggest you make a habit of doing this every month.
Two-Step Power On Verification
It is always recommended to activate two-step verification for more security. Google allows you to use the additional layer of security from the settings menu.
Go to the Google account page > Security > and select the 2-step verification menu.
Initially, Google will ask to verify your account. You can use the device’s prompts, the security key, a text message, or a call.
The good news is that Google has started supporting iPhone for device prompts. So iPhone users can use their device to authenticate the account.
Download and delete a copy of your data
Google allows the user to download a copy of their data to the device. For that, you need to go to Google Account > Data & Personalization and scroll down to download your data option.
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Tap it and you’ll see a list of data you can download from various Google services.
Select the export file type and download to PC.
Also, you can delete the entire Google account including all history and activity. From the same menu, go to delete a service or your account and select the option to delete your google account.
Control your data
In this day and age, it’s important to keep track of your web activity and history. Google, as a responsible tech giant, allows its billions of users the flexibility to personalize and delete data. Read the steps above and have full control of your accurate information at your fingertips.
Next: Sometimes Google may not autocomplete words in Chrome. Read the post below to find the solution.