Google Account Privacy Settings

How To Setup Privacy Measures On Your Google Account


We use Google Services all the time. It makes perfect sense to ensure all privacy measures on our Google accounts are in place.
Google Account Privacy Settings

Having a Google account offers a wide range of web services that one simply cannot leave without these days.

For most of us, checking our Gmail, finding information on Google Search, accessing our files in Google Drive, editing Google Docs on the go and using Google Maps for navigation have become some of our daily tasks.

Since these useful Google services contained so much data about us, it is only right for us to ensure that our Google Account is properly configured to be privacy-focused and secured.

The effort of maintaining privacy in our Google Account is an ongoing process.

This article will be updated frequently, should there be any new changes in Google’s settings from time to time.

To start managing your Google account Privacy settings, click on the top-right icon in your Gmail web interface and click on “Manage your Google Account“.

Manage Your Google Account Settings

You will come to this main screen, where you will see these broad main categories.

Google Account Main Settings Page

Both the left and right pane are required for privacy configurations.

As of May 2021, there are a total of 18 configurations found in 6 main categories in the Google Account settings page that you need to take note of.

Consider configuring your Google Account as such;

Privacy & Personalization

SettingsRecommendation Privacy Concern
Web & App Activity OFFWill not save your Google Searches and apps activities such as Maps location
Location History OFFWill not save your location. No Places recommendation and no traffic updates.
Youtube HistoryOFFWill not have Watch History on Youtube and video recommendations based on your recent watch interests.
Ad PersonalizationOFFYour online browsing activities will not improve the ads you see
My Activity DeleteDelete all your past activities here
TimelineDeleteMake sure there is no more location history on your movement

Security issues found

SettingsRecommendationPrivacy Concern
Your devicesAdd/RemoveMake sure the devices listed here are your trusted devices. Remove obsolete and unwanted devices if any
2-Step verificationAll 4 waysAdd Google sign-in prompt,
Add Authenticator app,
Add a Phone number and
Add Recovery email
Recent security activityCheckMake sure there are no suspicious security-related logins to your account
Your saved passwordsCheckMake sure there are no compromised passwords

Privacy Checkup

SettingsRecommendationsPrivacy Concern
Phone numbers reviewedUnchecked* Better sharing on Google
* Help people identify you via this number
About You ReviewedUncheckedEdit your shared endorsement settings

Personal info

SettingsRecommendationsPrivacy Concern
PhotoLeave it emptyIt is not mandatory to provide a profile picture
GenderRather not sayThis is an option that you can use for privacy purposes
Choose what others seeLeave it empty* About (places, links)
* Work and education

People & sharing

SettingsRecommendationsPrivacy Concern
Your family on GoogleLeave it emptyIf possible, do not add any family group here
Contact info from your devicesOFFWill not save your Contacts across your devices under the same Google account.

Payments and subscriptions

SettingsRecommendationsPrivacy Concern
Payment methodsLeave it emptyWill not create a Google Pay payment method and will not ask you for your credit card information

Conclusion

When you have set up your Google Account in this way, you should be set for optimum web privacy while enjoying Google’s web services.

However, for the more privacy-conscious individuals, this is definitely not enough.

Maintaining online privacy with a high level of anonymity begins with various considerations; such as;

  • Using the right search engine for your privacy searches
  • Using a privacy web browser for web surfing
  • Proper web browser configuration
  • Surfing the internet using an IP address, other than yours, for anonymity
  • The mobile device that you are using
  • The computer device that you are using
  • The apps and web services that you choose to use

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