how to hide google search history and stop it from tracking

Internet users are well aware that websites can track and monitor their online activity. But, few people realize the extent of this digital intrusion in our lives.

Google knows almost everything about us, for example. They have access to our names, addresses, search patterns and medical conditions. Images we see, videos we view, ads clicked, devices we use, website visits, time spent on various webpages, etc. This is only the tip of an iceberg.

Google is able to identify anonymous users using their internet history thanks to big data and data science. They can use anything, from your words to your spelling mistakes to identify you.

This is insanely frightening!

How can you protect yourself from these pervasive and intrusive eyes.

These are some ways to get back your privacy that you have either willingly or unknowingly given to the search giant.

Move to DuckDuckGo

You don’t have to give your search query to Bing if you don’t want it to. This doesn’t mean that you should not use Bing. Bing, which is a Microsoft product, can be equally intrusive.

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused browser which does not store or log any personal data. Your internet searches are hidden from prying eyes.

You can use a different browser to search

Chrome is owned by Google. If you don’t want to be associated with Google, you will need to get rid of Chrome. Different browsers have powerful privacy features that can prevent websites from tracking your browsing habits. Mozilla Firefox allows you to configure the browser to delete all cookies, cache and other site data after each session.

Most browsers also allow you to block websites from knowing where you are. Many other browsers also offer privacy as their primary distinction. Choose the one you like. Firefox and Opera are currently the most used options.

Prevent future collection by deleting current data

Google allows you to access all of your past activities it has collected. It even lets you delete any data it has collected and puts an end to its collection of more. It can also ask you what type of personal information you wish it to store and collect.

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Go to the My Activity page within your Google Account. Click on the horizontal ellipsis and then click on “Delete Activity By”.

You can now select the data you want to delete. You should delete all data.

Next, visit the Activity Controls Page. Here you’ll find the section “Web & App Activity”. Google can be stopped from collecting various types of data such as your location history and search activity.

Use TOR

The TOR browser is a great tool to hide your internet activity from others. This includes search engines such as Google. It also gives you anonymity that is difficult to match.

However, TOR’s traffic bandwidth can be very limited and can sometimes be slow. You can’t access any website that has CAPTCHA. It will prompt you repeatedly with CAPTCHA prompts. A VPN is a better choice for privacy.

Use a VPN

VPNs offer the same protection level as the TOR network but with no bandwidth restrictions. Your local ISP may limit your connection speed depending on which VPN provider you choose. Some VPN service providers boast unlimited speeds.

Make sure your VPN does not log your internet use. NordVPN is a trusted VPN service that offers powerful privacy features. VPN services anonymize your Google searches by changing the IP address. It is best used with Browser Incognito Mode.

Use private mode on browsers

Privacy mode can be used when an intrusive browser such as Chrome browser is necessary or you are forced to use Google Search. It is called Incognito Mode by Chrome. It means that all search history and cookies will be deleted after you close your session.

Remember. Privacy mode does not delete all cookies or search history from the current browser session. This does not prevent Google from collecting data about you when you use the search engine in this mode. Google can still identify your IP address and other digital indicators. You can use a VPN to hide your activity from Google and other ISP providers.

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Log In From Your Google Accounts

Your search history is mapped to your email account every time you use Google Search when you log in to your email. Your online activity can be traced by your browser cookies when you sign in.

Avoid Chrome sign-ins. Chrome will prompt you to sign into the browser with your Google account credentials. Chrome will pair all of your browser activities with your Google account if you do this. This is a serious risk, even if web activity tracking is disabled.

Avoid Google Apps

Google’s ecosystem of apps collects a lot of data. These include Maps and Calendar, Duo Google Photos, Google Chrome, Google Keep, Google Photos, Google Photos, Google Calendar, Duo, Google Photos and many other apps. You may not be able to completely stop using Google apps. Google Maps is not the only alternative.

It is possible to disable most of the apps. Mobile users can substitute Google Chrome for DuckDuckGo. Open-source alternatives exist to Calendar, Keep and Photos as well as other Google apps.

Disable Google Ad Tracking for Mobile

Android users can follow the following steps: Settings > Accounts > Sync > Google > Advertising. You can choose to opt out of personalized ads. On some phones, however, the Google section might appear in the Settings window.

Follow these steps to limit advertising on iOS devices: Settings > Privacy > Advertising You can restrict ad tracking by going to Settings > Privacy > Advertising.

Use AdBlocker for Browsers

You will find many options for ad blocking in the app stores of most browsers. These ad blockers can be compared and you will find the one that suits your needs best. We recommend open-source ad blocking tools like uBlock Origin. It was developed by Raymond Hill. This extension is trusted and well-respected.

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VPN with an ad-blocker function is a better choice. They can block trackers, malicious websites, ads, and trackers.

Do Not Use Google Devices

This does not mean that Apple devices are better. They also collect all your personal information aggressively. This is why more people are switching to feature phones over to avoid intrusive smartphones. Some tech-savvy people are switching to Linux from Windows and Mac ecosystems.

These options might be too extreme for many internet users due to different reasons. Linux is, for example, not very user-friendly. Many of us use smartphones either for personal or professional purposes.

Nevertheless, many of us can avoid devices such as Google Home Mini, Google Nest Hub and Chromecast.

Third-party password managers

Many people allow their browsers to save passwords for them. While it is a useful feature that allows online browsing to be very convenient, it can also pose a security risk. Chrome stores your passwords in your Google account, if you’re signed in. Anybody who hacks into Google’s servers could gain access to your passwords.

A third-party password manager can help eliminate this risk. You will need to trust the security features of any password manager that you use. Use a zero-knowledge encryption password management program like LastPass or Bitwarden. Both apps’ developers claim that passwords won’t be compromised even if they’re hacked. This was also proven by LastPass being hacked several years ago. Their technology performed exactly as they claimed.

Conclusion

Google has taken the title of all-seeing, all intrusive internet eye. It is not easy to get rid of it. It is possible to protect your privacy by keeping Google from your apps and devices. It is possible to hide Google Search History using a VPN and Incognito windows. Your IP will be hidden by the search engine. A private browser window will also protect you against tracking cookies.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.

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