10 Ways to Increase the Security and Privacy of Your Google Account
These days, Google provides a wide range of services, and a single Google account allows you to access your data on many of them. There are a few things you can do to tighten account security and privacy. Let us demonstrate.
Enable two-factor authentication
Turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) is the first thing that every person with a Google account should do. Although it is easy to do, this gives your account an extra layer of security.
When 2FA is enabled, you must confirm your login via a phone call, text message, or authenticator app before proceeding. Google began enabling 2FA for all users in 2021, but if you haven’t done so already, you should.
Enable “Enhanced Safe Browsing” in Chrome
It’s likely that you use Google Chrome if you have a Google account. Enabling “Enhanced Safe Browsing” mode will increase the security of your browsing.
“Enhanced Safe Browsing” adds some new tools to the “Safe Browsing” feature. Chrome gives Google access to more browsing information, enabling Google to conduct more thorough and proactive threat assessments. However, you must be comfortable with Google viewing your data.
Protect Your Google Activity with a Password
You are probably aware that when you use Google’s products, it records a lot of your online activity. You can view this information at activity.google.com, but you don’t want just anyone to have access to it.
The good news is that you can use a password to secure your Google activity. By doing this, even someone who has access to your Google account will require a password in order to view all of your account activity.
Delete your Gmail without deleting your Google Account
A Google account is created when you create a Gmail address, and a Gmail address is created when you create a Google account. However, it is possible to have a Google account without a Gmail account.
You can delete your Gmail account if you don’t want to worry about someone accessing it or dealing with an endless stream of spam. You’ll still have access to everything else in your Google account.
Disable “Okay Google” History
Did you know that every time you say “Okay Google” and use a voice command, Google records the audio? It’s true, and you can listen to them all on your account’s “Web & App Activity” page.
You can manually remove recordings or disable “Include voice and audio activity” if you don’t like it. Voice commands will continue to work as usual even though they won’t be recorded and saved to your account anymore.
Auto-Delete Your Location and Web History
The amount of activity Google tracks and where you can find it has been mentioned a few times. Fortunately, Google allows you to automatically delete this data after a predetermined amount of time.
Google accounts created after 2020 by default have their history deleted after 18 months. You will need to manually turn on the auto-deletion feature if your account is older than that. You have the option of choosing between three or 18 months.
Remove a Google Account from Chrome
When using the Chrome browser for the first time, Google prompts you to sign in using your Google account. Although it may seem like it’s mandatory, you don’t need to do this. You can sign out of Chrome if you don’t want Google to see your entire browsing history.
If you remove your Google account from Chrome, you won’t be able to sync your bookmarks, open tabs, and saved data across devices. However, you must make a compromise if you want to browse more anonymously.
Manage Apps Connected to Your Google Account
Accessing apps and websites that support Google login is simple when you have a Google account. The issue is that over time, these services can add up, and you probably no longer use some of them. You should frequently check which services have access to your account.
This can be done on the Sign-in & Security page of your Google account. Scroll down to the box labeled “Third-party apps with account access“, then click “Manage Third-Party Access“. From there you can remove any old services.
Delete Your Data from a Google Service
In addition to third-party applications, a sizable number of Google’s own services also have access to your data. Simply having a Google account does not require you to use all of these services indefinitely.
You have the option to delete specific Google services from your account, along with all associated data. To do so, go to the “Data & Privacy” page and select “Delete a Google Service“. You’ll see a list of services that you can remove or disable.
Set Your Google Account to Automatically Delete (or Share) Upon Your Death
The final tip may seem morbid, but it is still important to consider. Want to delete your search history but still share your family photos after you pass away? Google’s Inactive Account Manager makes it possible to accomplish that.
To set up the Inactive Account Manager, first go to Inactive Account Manager page. When you click “Start“, you’ll be guided through the process of determining when to mark your account as “Inactive“, how to send you reminders, who to contact at that time, and what to delete and share.
There you have it, some options to make your Google account a little more secure. Google probably has a lot of your information, so keep an eye on it on a regular basis.