Find Out What Google Knows About You. And How To Limit That Knowledge
You can check which ones of your activities Google has saved, click here https://myactivity.google.com
Google saves every search entry made by registered users, and more. Entries are kept for up to 18 months.
The saved information includes search queries with date and time, clicked results in the results list, and watched YouTube videos.
If you use an Android smartphone with a registered Google account, your activity log will also include visited locations, used apps, Google Assistant requests, and other queries.
If you don’t want your search entries to be logged, you can delete the entire data record – or just individual entries.
You can also disable the collection of usage data under “Activity settings,” or deactivate individual items – for example, you could turn off the tracking of app usage and location protocol, but allow the company to keep tabs on your browser and YouTube history. But this does not help. The search queries will still be logged, even though they will not be kept in your personal list. The same applies to browsing in the incognito mode and if you use Google without being logged in.
If you want to be completely incognito, get a secondary smartphone with an anonymous pre-paid SIM card. The following rules apply:
- do not use private wifi networks with your secondary smartphone
- never keep both your primary and your secondary smartphones switched on at the same time
- keep a smartphone in a so-called “Faraday Bag” after you switch it off (see my earlier article about Google spying on smartphones that are switched off, click here)
- never call your primary smartphone from your secondary smartphone, and vice-versa
- use as few apps as possible, and stay completely away from apps that you can download for free from the app stores. These apps send position pings to Google without notifying you.
All these rules make it more difficult to pair your two smartphones and to assign them to one single user. Google is very good at that. And you want to avoid that.
Martin “Incognito” Schweiger