New Google Privacy Features | Business


Improved privacy mechanisms continue to emerge for consumers. The latest is from Google and lets you instantly delete the last 15 minutes of your iPhone’s search history. The same functionality will be rolled out for Android phone users later this year.

It may seem odd that Google chose iOS over its own operating system to be the first for the new feature, but the numbers tell the story. Google’s search engine is used on 93% of mobile phones in this country and 54% of that total are iPhones, leaving 46% to Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy series, according to Statista, an analyst firm. Prioritizing the largest market makes sense.

To access the new feature, you must have the Google Search app installed on your phone. Although Safari uses Google by default, if you don’t go through the app, you’ll see the desktop version and it won’t have the 15-minute delete option. You can always delete your history manually or set up automatic deletion for three, 18, or 36 months. You can also search in incognito mode. All you need to do is long press on your avatar photo to enter incognito mode. This can be especially useful if you need to use your iPhone as a business and personal device.

So for quick access to the 15 minute delete option, open the Google app on your phone and then tap on your photo in the top right corner. In the list under the search history, you will see “Delete the last 15 minutes”. Type and that’s it! If you don’t see the new feature, keep checking back, as it’s currently being rolled out to users.

Google also offers the option to password protect your search history. Return to your main page in the app by tapping on your photo as described above. Tap “Search History” and then open “Record in web and app activity.” Here you will see all the Google products that capture your search activity including YouTube, Google Shopping, News, Maps and more. Scroll down to see your search history, which may surprise you in its entirety. This can be useful if you’ve forgotten a website that you want to revisit, but you might want to keep those results private from others who have access to your phone. If so, tap “Manage all web and app activity” and then tap “Manage my activity verification.” Here you can enable additional verification, which will then require a password before viewing or deleting your search history to ensure that you are requesting access.

For more privacy for your photos, Google’s Photo app now offers a password-protected locked folder to keep sensitive photos out of sight. Maybe you’re shopping for a special gift and keeping screenshots for easy reference, or you’ve ended a relationship with someone and don’t want to see their face every time you scroll. your film. Currently, the locked folder is only available for Android users.

But iPhone users can also hide individual photos using Apple’s Hide feature in its Photos app. Open the Photos app, select the photos you want to hide, tap the share icon at the bottom left of your screen, then scroll down to find Hide. To view photos, tap Albums in the app, scroll down and tap Hidden under Utilities, select the photo you want to view. Now tap the Share icon and choose View.

The Maps app has also been updated with a new privacy feature. You will now receive location history reminders in your map timeline. When you see places you’ve visited in your timeline, Google reminds you that it’s because you’ve turned on Location History, which you can turn off right in the timeline.

Google has prioritized privacy in recent app updates, and there’s more to come. When Google releases its public version of Android 12 this fall, there will be a new privacy dashboard that will let you see when apps have accessed your camera, microphone, or device location. There will also be indicators that will show when your camera or microphone is in use, as well as toggles to disable access to both on your device. You will also be able to share your approximate location with an app instead of a specific app.

Leslie Meredith has been writing and reviewing personal technology for the past nine years. She has designed and managed several international websites and now leads marketing for a global events business. As a mother of four, online value, utility and safety come first. Have a question? Email Leslie at [email protected]

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