As each year passes, the more we become aware of how important our personal information privacy and security of the data we share online is. Whether it is the security breaches which lead to data leaks that we hear of or how creepy some Internet company's employees abuse the access they have to our information, it is clear that information security, as well as online privacy, should be a priority for all of us.
One such company that collects and stores a lot of data on each of us, whether you have an account with them or not, is Google. If you have ever signed up for any Google service or use an Android device, there is a high probability you ticked all the boxes and the company tracks information such as the following about you:
- Full Name.
- E-mail Addresses.
- Password/s (if you let Google Chrome store your passwords, you should stop!).
- Mobile phone number.
- Files you save on Google Drive.
- Your Internet browsing history (all of it!).
- The advertisements you click on.
- The videos you've watched.
- Your IP address/es.
- Multimedia content you upload to the Internet.
- If you use Gmail, the e-mails you send and receive.
- and much more!
I even discovered that Google tracks my mobile app usage (what if they also track what you do inside each app? 😱)
My Google mobile app activity dashboard.
Rightfully so, Google says that they collect all this data to improve the services they offer to you (mostly Ads) and to make your experience of the Internet and their services that much better. Having said that, Google does give you the option to opt-out of all this tracking as well as the ability to delete a big chunk of the data they track about you.
This comes in the form of the not-so-well publicized "Google - My Activity" online tool.
Perform the following steps in order to delete your Google Activity (NB: If you want some or all of the activity tracked or data, make sure you back it up first before deleting it.)
Visit the Google - My Activity online tool.
On the left-hand side, there's a list of options, choose
Delete activity by.
This will present you with 2 options:
Delete by dateor Delete by-products.
Once you've selected All time or All products as your criteria. Press
All (almost all, there's still cookies that track you around the Internet to serve you Ads) the data that Google had and all your activity they tracked is now gone.