Google has now introduced the ability to password-protect your web history. So, if you’ve been researching a birthday or Christmas present for a friend or family member who shares a computer with you – you don’t have to worry about them accidentally stumbling across your research. Likewise, if you’ve been using an iPad used everyone in the household to browse engagement rings.
And it’s not only searches on Google.co.uk that will be protected. Google has taken things a step further, with users also able to shield the list of everything you’ve watched on YouTube as well as any spoken commands to Google Assistant, which powers Android phones, Chromebooks, as well as Google Nest smart speakers.
Without the password, anyone who picks up your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop PC and tries to check your watch activity, previous Google Assistant commands, or web searches will be locked out.
Without this privacy-focused feature enabled, anyone can visit activity.google.com to find a stream of everything that Google is keeping tabs of – from across your devices – without asking for a password. This includes location history gathered from Google search and Google Maps, as well as YouTube viewing history, web searches, and activity with Google Play Store, amongst others.
To activate the new password feature, head back to the activity.google.com homage and then click “Manage My Activity”.
From there, you’ll find a new option labelled “Require Extra Verification”. Click save, then enter the password that you use to login to your Google Account to confirm that you’re the account holder. And that’s it. Nobody will be able to check-up on what you’ve been browsing, watching, or searching without knowing your password.
If you share a password with your housemates or partner, then I’m afraid we can’t help you.