Most people tend to use Google to search for anything they need information on, ranging from the mundane to the personal. Few people give a thought to how Google, by default, tracks those searches, one way or another, something that could induce fear and uncertainty in some users when they realize that fact. Fortunately, Google has become more responsible in handling that kind of data and giving users more control over their online lives. Now it is introducing new features in Google Search that will keep search histories safe from prying eyes, including Google’s.
Most seekers on Google probably don’t realize that they can easily view the things they’ve searched for in the past. Even fewer have probably considered that anyone with physical access to their phones can also see that data easily. All it takes is for a more seasoned person to dig through the Google app’s settings to see potentially juicy information.
For those cases where you often share your device with a family member or friend, Google is providing one more layer of protection to keep your search history private. You can now require extra verification when trying to view the search history from the Google mobile app. That verification can be your password, fingerprint, or two-factor authentication, though it seems to default to whatever screen lock verification you have set up on your device.
Google has given users the ability to delete their search history after a certain number of months, either 18 or 36 months. It also provides the option to manually delete those entries or even opt out of saving search history completely. Google is now adding an even more granular option that will let you delete the last 15 minutes of search history, almost like erasing your tracks, in case you forgot to activate Incognito mode first.
Extra verification for viewing search history is now available on all devices, but the 15-minute option to delete search histories is only available on iOS for now. With these new features, Google is also reminding its users how its Search was designed with privacy in mind and is built to be secure by default. Of course, there will always be those who will contest even that.