Online privacy and the lack of it is more concerning every year. There are countless social media scandals, and there is a continual rise of online tracking from the not so well known, and from the likes of large corporations such as Google.
One of the first areas to be affected is your web browser history, so this means users go incognito, as a way to combat this. It is a start, yet it is in no way enough to protect your online privacy.
The likes of Google know what you were doing online over ten years ago because that’s how long they have been collecting data from all their products and services.
All Google products and any of their web app activity from users has been accumulating since 2005.
Although you can go incognito, or anything else that helps you protect yourself, however, it doesn’t clear what Google already has. To do this, you need to delete your Google search history from their grasp.
Here, you can learn how to delete your search history permanently, and it means you are clear of a whole host of data following you around the internet.
What Google Knows About You?
As soon as you use any Google services, they begin recording all that you do. With the number of cell phones in use, this issue is compounded and much worse. An Android phone will always report home, so Google collects information, even when you are asleep.
While Googles tries to make users think they are not saving as much info as they think, they are doing all they can to harvest more of your web history.
From a company that makes such a fuss over their rights reserved and their terms of service, they hold little regard for user data.
- Where and when you were born
- Your cell phone contacts and their numbers
- All Google Chrome searches and site visits
- Google maps will record where you are, and how long you stay there
- Home and work address
- All the things watched on YouTube
- Google assistant can record your voice
This is just the beginning because Gmail is another entity altogether. All your Google activity through the Chrome browser is fed back to the company at regular intervals.
Download Online Activity Before You Delete Your Search History
Even though Google tries to record all they can, any Google app will allow you to download your app activity before you decide to delete activity from all their products.
Google Takeout’s is this feature; here are the simple steps to use it, and archive your Google history.
- Sign in to your account in Google
- Head to the ‘web-app activity’ section
- Select ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Download’
- Click on ‘Create Archive’
How to Clear Google Search History on Android and iOS
When you wish to delete your search activity on iOS and Android devices, the methods are very similar.
You find two methods are depending if you do it through a browser (Chrome) or the app.
Here are the simple steps to clear your browsing data.
How to delete your Google search history from Chrome:
- Open Chrome
- Tap the three small dots then tap ‘History’
- Tap ‘Clear Browsing Data’
- Tap the down arrow alongside the time range. Select ‘all-time,’ this removes searches from when you first used Chrome.
- You can select different results to delete or keep. In iOS, click ‘edit’ and select what you want to keep from the history.
- You see items you can keep or remove such as autofill, browsing history, cookies and cached images.
- To delete the browser history, click ‘clear data,’ in iOS you will click ‘done’ in the top right corner.
Deleting History from Apps
If you use official apps on mobile devices, here are the steps in deleting your Google searches.
- Open the Google apps
- Tap the ‘More’ icon (bottom right of the menu bar)
- Tap settings
- Tap on ‘Accounts and Privacy’ then tap ‘My Activity’
- From here, the steps are the same as above when you want to delete Google search in the browser. Start from ‘Step 2’ or carry on here:
- Tap the three dots
- Tap delete activity by and tap the arrow for the drop-down
- Change app history to ‘All Time’
- Select ‘delete’
- Go through the ‘delete my activity’ page and select anything to keep.
- Select three dots and tap delete.
Stop Google Saving Online Activity
Once you clear your history, you need to prevent Google from starting afresh. All the services will begin recording, and your data personalization profile will grow again.
You can do some things to stop the amount of information Google records, so here are a few things to do after you saw how do you delete Google history above.
- Head to Your Activity page and Click ‘Activity Controls’
- Here is a list of activities or products you prevent from tracking you. Location history is a good example.
- You then have a dialogue window asking for confirmation you want to pause activity.
- Do this for all you want to stop Google harvesting.
- To finish, select pause in the bottom right corner
It can be easy to clear all your searches and history, yet you do need to appear invisible to Google to prevent the same occurring again.
There are many Google alternatives you can use for certain things, but to be sure you distance yourself as far from them as you can, then it is advisable to use a VPN service.
Once you have one of these on your device, then you can encrypt all your connection data, and spoof your location.
Any reporting home Chrome or Google maps makes, will not bear any resemblance to what you are doing.
Out of all these services, the best VPN for UK users is ExpressVPN. It not only protects you from Google seeing what you are doing, but it also prevents your ISP from recording your online activities.
To add to this, it will also make it straightforward to access any geo-restricted or blocked content you wish to access while online, your data in search will stay private when using this VPN.