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You can now make it harder for someone to spy on your use of Google services

It’s no surprise that Google keeps track of your interactions with Google devices and apps. You can check out what goodies Google has on you by going to the My Activity page (myactivity.google.com). The My Activity page keeps track of the apps you’ve visited today, and even knows the locations you’ve looked at in Google Maps.
But this isn’t data that you’d like to hand out to just anyone so Google announced that it is adding an extra layer of security to My Activity in the form of password protection. Head over to “Manage My Account Verification” by clicking on this link and tapping on the blue link. You’ll see two options, one to require extra verification to see the My Account entries and one that doesn’t require the extra verification.
Google says that “if you turn on extra verification Google will make sure it’s really you before you can see or delete your full history on My Activity. This can help keep your history safer on shared devices. This setting only applies to My Activity. Your history may still appear in other Google products.”

Extra verification comes in handy if you and someone else use the same computer, or if you leave your phone or tablet unlocked. However it still requires the use of your Google account sign-in and does not protect your data with the use of an additional password. If you want to prevent Google from keeping your account history, go to Activity Controls and delete what detailed history is stored.

You can also change some settings to prevent Google from collecting your history. As Google says, “Your Web & App Activity includes the things you do on Google services, like Maps, Search, and Play. It can also include things you do on sites, apps, and devices that use Google services or your voice and audio recordings. The activity you keep is used to give you more personalized experiences, like faster searches and more helpful app and content recommendations.”

Whether faster searches and more helpful recommendations is worth allowing Google to have access to your activity history is entirely up to you.


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