What did we do before Google? Seriously? The search giant is like an all-powerful wizard that knows all and tells all; but ah… it also sees all and records all. You’ll be shocked at how much Google knows about you with every click you make online. This is their way of profiling you to determine what kinds of ads you are more likely to respond to (and yes, they do a great job at that).
The good news is, you can now review your saved digital footprints! This includes a timeline of websites you’ve checked out from Google’s search engine, apps you’ve downloaded on Google Play app store, videos you’ve watched on YouTube and, well, basically everything else you’ve used that’s owned by Google.
You do this on a new tool called MyActivity, which you can access at myactivity.google.com. Its search box allows you to find specific items in your timeline and filter them by date or a particular Google product. For the online ninjas, however, you can make some of your digital tracks go “poof!” if you wish. Once your online chronicles are gone, Google can no longer use your deleted data to profile you.
Here are the steps:
- Go to myaccount.google.com and click on ‘My Activity’
- Click on the three-dot menu on the right of each group to view the details
- Select and delete the items you want from your Google history by day or specific results
- If you want to get rid of, oh you know, EVERYTHING for FOREVER, click on the three-dot menu at the top right corner of your My Activity page. Select ‘Delete activity by’ followed by ‘All time’
Keep in mind, though, that My Activity only shows you your activities for the device you’re using. So simply repeat this process on all your devices and ta-dah, zero digital footprints! Well, at least until your next search/app download/video view anyway because we all know we need a little Google in our lives.