Have you ever wondered how much personal information Google holds on you? The search giant has made it easier than ever before to keep tabs on what you’re sharing with it by using its services — from your Google and YouTube search and browsing histories to the places you’ve been while logged in. Read on for how to control what you’re sharing, and who can see it.
Google recently announced new privacy and security dashboard My Account, which brings together all user controls in one hub. It’s here that you’ll find all the information it has stored on you, along with how to delete it should you wish.
Visit https://myaccount.google.com/ and sign in using your Google account.
What information does Google hold on me?
You can check what information is held about you under the Personal Info & privacy tab in the central column (circled), where all data including your email address, phone number, search history and settings are stored.
Once in, you can see all the email addresses associated with your account, along with the phone number you may have provided if needed for account recovery. You can also review how your Google+ profile appears, manage any shared endorsements which will appear within adverts — for example, if you visit a restaurant and give it a star rating, that review may then be used by Google in an advert displayed on a Google search. Should you choose to, it’s here you can opt in to share your name and profile picture alongside your endorsement.
Under Search Settings, you can turn on SafeSearch to automatically filter out any inappropriate or explicit pictures that may crop up in an image search, and access your search history, which you can turn off or edit. Only you can see this data, and it shows you the searches you’ve made by day, your total number of searches and your top sites visited within the past week, month, year or all time.
You can choose to delete individual searches by selecting them and clicking the ‘delete’ banner which appears at the top of the page.