Christian Stewart is a privacy researcher and reporter. Follow his latest coverage on YouTube.
Searching the web shouldn’t require compromising on your privacy. It’s no longer a secret that Google keeps a record of all of your internet activity, including your searches. If you don’t want other people on your devices seeing your browsing history, all you have to do is clear that data.
Deleting your history in Google Chrome will clear the records of which websites you’ve visited, and other browsing information. If you have Chrome installed on multiple devices and are logged in under the same Google account, clearing your history will clear that data from all of these devices.
On your device, open Google Chrome.In the top right corner of your browser window click on the 3 vertical dots: ( ⋮ ).Hover over ‘History’ and in the dropdown, select ‘History’. You’ll be taken to your browsing history.On the left side of the page, select ‘Clear browsing data’.In the menu that appears, you can select which data and history you want to clear. You can also select the time range of the data you want to clear. Check the box next to any data you want to clear.Then click the ‘Clear data’ button.
If you don’t want to clear your browsing data from all of your synced devices, you can log out of your Chrome browser before clearing your history.
So what if you don’t use Google Chrome, but you use Google as your search engine? Google is still tracking your searches, so how do you clear that data?
Go to MyActivity.Google.com and sign into your Google account.On the left side of the screen click on ‘Delete activity by’.You can either ‘Delete by topic or product’ or ‘Delete by date’.If you choose to ‘Delete by topic’, you can search for specific products or topics you want to delete from your history.If you choose to ‘Delete by date’, select the date range you want to delete, and which types of data you want to clear.Select Google Ads, Google Pay, YouTube data, or any combination of the three that you wish to delete.Then, click ‘Delete’. You will be prompted to make sure you actually want to delete the selected data. Click ‘Delete’ and you’ve cleared that data from Google’s profile about you.
In ‘Activity Controls’ you can tell Google which data you want it to collect and which you’d rather not share. If you want to make sure that certain data stays private, you should avoid sharing it with Google at all.
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