4 Tips to Control Your Google Privacy

Google's new privacy policy went live last week. The new feature combines the information Google collects on you from all of its applications. If you feel like your privacy is at risk, here are four tips to help you remain as anonymous as possible.

Thu, March 08, 2012

CIO — Last week, Google rolled out its new privacy policy, condensing into one more than 60 former privacy policies across Google products, such as Gmail, GChat, Picassa, Google+ and YouTube.

As part of the change, Google now shares the information it has about you among all of its services, creating one profile of you rather than separate logs for each Google service you use.

These changes have privacy experts concerned: The new policy reportedly breaches European law and 36 U.S. attorneys general have said Google's changes are an invasion of privacy.

But there are steps you can take to ensure your information and online activity remain private, from editing your online search history to taking your GChat conversations offline. Here's what you need to know.

1. How to Clear Your YouTube Browsing History

When you visit YouTube, while logged into your Google account, it keeps a record of the videos you view. To clear your YouTube viewing history, take the following steps:

First, sign into your Google Dashboard, home to most of your Google privacy settings. Scroll to the bottom and click "Sign into Dashboard," then enter your username and password.

From your dashboard, scroll to the bottom and select "Manage privacy settings" under the YouTube section. Then, click the link to your name in the top-right and find "History" from the scrolling menu on the left. Click it.

Visit both the "History" and "Search History" tabs to either clear all viewing and search history data, or to pause it.

[Google's New Privacy Policy Highlights Need for Better Settings]

2. How to Remove Web History and Turn Off Search History Personalization

Google's search history personalization bases your search results on your past search activity on Google. This means that if you recently searched for restaurants in San Francisco, then searched for car rental companies, Google is more likely to return results for rental companies in San Francisco.

To disable history-based search customizations while you're signed into your Google account, you need to remove all your Web history. (You can also choose to remove only individual items, as well as to pause your Web History.)

To do this, visit google.com/history and either select individual webpages to remove, or select "Remove all Web History." From here, you can also pause your Web history if you temporarily don't want Google to track the pages you're visiting.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies