The internet is bursting with the content of all types. You could need to look up the Cox customer service phone number, a new dessert recipe, or a standup comedy special. It is not really up to anybody to judge you on your viewing or search history. However, there are privacy concerns. In most cases, you can’t easily prevent your internet provider, search engine, or browser from monitoring or tracking your browsing. At least not without some more technical steps. But that doesn’t mean your viewing or search history needs to remain accessible to your family, or even snoopers.
So how do you stop that from happening? There are several ways, actually! Any one of the following can prove effective, depending on how tech-savvy the people you want to hide it from being. Check out these tips to keep your privacy (and dignity) intact:
Delete Your Browser History After Every Session
Deleting a browser’s history is something most of us figured out the hard way. You’d be sitting there, without even the thought of an embarrassing search popping up. A friend borrows your phone to look something up. And with the very first alphabet they type into the search bar, you see your dignity and privacy die an embarrassing death. You may not necessarily have looked up something worse than the average internet user. It may not even be something you’re particularly interested in. But there’s no denying that most of us could do without such deeply distressing situations.
As a result, deleting browser histories has become a fairly common practice among most people. All you have to do is go to your web browser or app and locate the setting that allows you to delete your browsing history and searches. Of course, you should be more careful with deleting the entire thing. You could have important stuff like accounts, passwords, work websites, and more stored there. You may end up throwing out the baby along with the bathwater!
Use Google’s Auto-Delete History
Manually deleting browsing history usually helps keep your internet activities private. But you have to remember to do so. And with how fast-paced life is getting, it is very easy to forget to do so after each internet session. You may even forget a weird video you saw ages ago and only remember the search when it pops up while you’re presenting to a classroom or a board meeting.
To prevent that from happening, Google has created an Auto Delete option within its browser and apps. The Auto-Delete option lets you set a timeline for the search and viewing history you want to keep hidden from other people. For example, you can set it to automatically delete your history every 3 months, a year, or even longer. With this, you’ll never have to stress about something you don’t even remember looking up.
Try the Delete Last 15 Min Option
Instead of a blanket deletion, what if you could set your device to delete something you only looked for in the last few minutes? Let’s face it, we are prone to moments of weakness. You may decide to harmlessly click on your ex-partner's social media profile. Even if you did not want to engage with them, your current partner may not be too happy if they see their name popping up in your search history.
Then again, you may also have a business profile or a meme page that you enjoy but don’t follow. So how do you retain the latter but remove the former? Google’s “Delete Last 15 Mins” option is the answer! Your search history (on your phone, in-app, and even in a web browser) will have a small labeled button that lets you do this. All you have to do is tap it after a session. Especially if someone like a partner or a friend shows up and is asking for your phone. Obviously, they may have no intention of breaching your privacy. But why take that risk? Just remove the most recent stuff you were browsing and rest easy!
Switch to Browsers Like DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo has become extremely popular over the last few years. And for good reason! The browsing app’s sole value proposition is privacy. And that doesn’t just mean it blocks trackers and cookies that are standard on other browsers. It offers a “Fire” button that many find extremely useful. When you tap the fire icon, it immediately “burns” everything on the browser. That includes search history, open tabs, and even download history. A single tap can protect you from any potential embarrassment. Especially when you need it urgently and cannot go about deleting browsing or viewing history without acting suspiciously.