STAYING safe on Google is easy if you have the right settings – so make sure you’re not accidentally exposing your home address.
Having the wrong Google settings can sometimes reveal your exact movements, so we’ve put together a simple guide to the correct settings you need to stay private.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be publish Google services are hugely useful – but make sure you’re not giving too much info away
We recommend checking bookmarking this page and checking back over this list every so often to make sure you’re still safe.
It’s also worth going through Google’s Privacy Check-Up to ensure you have the best possible security on your account.
Make sure your Google Account doesn’t have your address
Tagging your address on your Google Account can show it up publicly.
It’s possible to set it as private, but we recommend removing it completely just to be safe.
Google Google can map your exact locations over time
To do this, follow the below link and remove your address (if it’s on there):
However, note that it’s absolutely fine for you to list your “Home” address in Google Maps – as this isn’t shared onwards.
Make sure ‘Your Places’ in Google Maps are private
In Google Maps, it’s possible to tag various locations as “favourites” or “want to go”.
However, these locations aren’t necessarily private if you don’t have the right settings.
If they’re listed as “Shared” then other people can see them, and if they’re listed as “Public” then absolutely anyone can see them.
This is very bad news if you’re using these tags to identify your home, place of work, or a regular haunt.
You can check your favourites list by opening Google Maps and going into the side-menu, then clicking on Your Places.
Then go into the Saved and Shared tabs and make sure everything is listed as private.
Make sure you aren’t location sharing with anyone
Location sharing is a great feature to help friends find you.
But if you’ve linked your location then it’s possible that information may have been passed on – putting you at risk.
To check if your location is currently being tracked, go to this link:
The Sun / Google You can turn off Google Location Tracking to stop the company recording a detailed map of your travels
Make sure you’re not logged in on other accounts
It’s easy to log onto Google on another device and forget about it completely.
But if this was a gadget that you don’t personally own, you’ve put yourself at risk of being exposed.
If you’re logged in on other devices, those devices could potentially be used to partially track your whereabouts.
You can check up on this here, and force a log-out on any devices you don’t recognise:
Turn off Google Location History
Google’s Location History is an account-wide service that tracks your movements using your smartphone – to give you more detailed advice.
But not everyone wants Google to keep an ongoing record of their movements.
Google Google can track your location, recording exact locations and times for your movements
That’s why Google Location History is turned off by default, and is only activated with your permission.
However, it’s common for users to accidentally enable Google Location History through the Google Maps app, without realising exactly what they’ve signed up to.
There are several ways to check your own Google Location History. The easiest way is to follow the link to the Google Maps Timeline page:
This lets you see exactly where you’ve been on a given day, even tracking your methods of travel and the times you were at certain locations.
The good news is that it’s possible to immediately turn Google Location History off at any time. You can turn off Location History here:
Getty – Contributor You should be careful about what information you give Google permission to track
Turn off Web & Activity Tracking
Google can also track your location using your web activity.
You can see your tracked location markers here:
Unfortunately, these location markers are intermingled with a host of other information, so it’s tricky to locate (and delete them).
To turn it off, simply click the above link then head to Activity Controls.
From there, you’ll be able to turn off Web & Activity Tracking across all Google sites, apps and services.
The Sun / Google You’ll also need to turn off Web and App Activity tracking to truly prevent Google from nabbing your location
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Do you think your cybersecurity is top notch? Let us know in the comments!
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