Automatically Deleting Your Google History Data

How to automatically delete your Google account history

Google famously keeps very meticulous records of all your online activity. If you have a Google account (such as Gmail or a business Google account) and stay logged into that account then Google is definitely tracking what you’re doing.

There are undoubtedly some legitimate uses of this data, but there’s no reason that it needs to be stored for any significant period of time. It turns out that Google does give you the option to have your data automatically deleted form your account after a chosen period of time.

What Information Does Google Allow You to Auto-Delete?

Google allows you to delete 3 broad categories of your historical data: Web & App History, Location History, and YouTube History. Once you get into the Google Account settings and get to this area you can click on the individual data categories to see examples of the data that you’ll automatically delete.

The most obvious example is your actual Google search history. There’s no reason for Google to (or for you to allow Google to) keep information on what you searched for 3+ years ago. That’s highly unlikely to provide any value to you now or in the future.

How to Automatically Delete Your Google Account History

It’s a rather simple process. Surprisingly simple, actually.

A very important note here. If you use multiple Google accounts, like me, then you’ll need to go through this process for each of your accounts. 

First, sign into the Google Account that you want to delete the history for.

Then, go to your Google Account settings. If you’re in Gmail, click your profile pic in the top-right corner and then select “Manage Your Google Account”.

Then click on Data and Personalization.

Click on Data and Personalization in your Google Account

In the Data and Personalization screen you’ll see the area where you can choose your data retention settings.

Click on each of the 3 sections and you’ll see a screen similar to this:

This is where you can delete your past history, but most importantly, set it to automatically delete. Click on the Auto-delete link to choose the settings you want to use.

Feel free to choose whatever makes sense for you and your particular situation. Personally, I would recommend deleting anything older than 3 months for most people. If you’re a very heavy user then maybe you would want to stretch that to 18 months. I wouldn’t go longer than that.

It’s the same process for deleting the YouTube and Location history.

That’s it! You now have a little bit more privacy than you did before.

How To Use Ghost Path VPN to Watch Out of Market Sports

Watching out of market sports is one of the best use cases for a VPN service. Today’s tutorial is a quick guide to using Ghost Path to watch your favorite sports teams even though you’re not in their local viewing market.

The Process

Typically, when you want to watch your team’s games you’ll want to connect to a VPN server in their local market. This goes for all major sports in the US, and likely elsewhere in the world. Ghost Path has great coverage across the world, but especially in the US. You should be able to find a server very close to the market you’re interested in.

Decide which servers you want to use

If you’re using the Ghost Path client then you can choose servers directly in the client. If you’re using a third-party app like OpenVPN, Viscosity, or Tunnelblick, then you’ll want to download ready-to-use configuration files from our VPN servers page.

Connect and Test

Once you’ve got the servers determined and configured in your VPN client, you’ll want to connect to those servers and verify that you are being seen in that location. An easy way to test is to check your IP address and see if you show as being in the location you’re targeting. If you are where you want to be, then you should be good to go.

If not, it could be that the location provider doesn’t have updated records of our IP address and it’s datacenter location. If we have multiple VPN servers in that city (which is fairly common) then you’ll want to try those.

Pro-tip: If you can’t get the VPN connection to work to your team’s home market, then try the opponent’s home market. Many times a broadcast will be shown in both markets. 

Here’s a short tutorial using Viscosity to connect to a few different cities.

 

Using Ghost Path with Tunnelblick

Video tutorial for configuring Tunnelblick

Tunnelblick is a popular free OpenVPN client for Mac. It’s been around a long time, is still being updated, and is a breeze to use. This post has a video tutorial that walks you through the process of setting up Tunnelblick so that you can quickly and easily access Ghost Path’s VPN servers.

How to install and configure Tunnelblick to work with Ghost Path servers

Here’s the full list of Ghost Path VPN servers. You can click the OpenVPN link for any of those servers to download a pre-config’d OpenVPN file to easily import into Tunnelblick.

Using Ghost Path with Viscosity

Video tutorial for configuring Viscosity

Viscosity is one of the absolute best VPN clients for Mac (and Windows). It’s very popular and I use it personally for a variety of reasons. I’ve put together a handy guide to help you get started with Viscosity.

Viscosity is not free, but it does come with a 30-day trial and then it’s just $14 for a license. Well worth it imo.

How to install and configure Viscosity to work with Ghost Path servers

Here’s the full list of Ghost Path VPN servers. You can click the Viscosity link for any of those servers to download a pre-config’d Viscosity file.

New VPN Server in Bursa, Turkey

VPN Server in Bursa, Turkey

The latest Ghost Path VPN server location is up and running in Bursa, Turkey. The Bursa VPN service is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Eurasia.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Bursa VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in eastern Europe or the middle East.

Ghost Path now has 125+ operational servers in 52 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Bursa, Turkey VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Turkey the Bursa gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Turkey but still would want to connect to the new server in Bursa: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Belgrade server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Everyday Best Practices for Better Online Privacy and Security

Everyday Privacy and Security Tips from the Experts

We’re a VPN provider, so taking security and privacy seriously is in our DNA… we live and breathe it every day.

But we know that not everyone spends as much time thinking about these things as we do. So we thought it would be a good time to take a step back and look at some very specific things that everyday users could do to increase their privacy, security, and online safety.

To do that we’ve solicited the help from online privacy experts, cyber security experts, and enthusiasts. Here are their recommendations.

Pay Close Attention to What You’re Doing Online

The objective of a cybercriminal is to get you to download programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. Malware can be disguised as a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.. Don’t download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don’t trust.

Daniel Carter of Zippy Electrics

 

The best tip I can give is to always read carefully before clicking anything. Don’t just brush off pop-up warnings and anything that comes into your screen. This is because you might click a malware or you might miss something important.

John Howard from Coupon Lawn

 

Avoid, or be extremely cautious, when engaging with “free” or “open source” download sites, whether they be for software, music, etc.

Michael Wallstrom from Philantech3

 

Email Safety

An email alias allows you to use a random identifier email every time, which in turn will forward it to your mailbox, and the other party won’t know your actual email.

Nirmal Sarkar of HiTricks.com

 

Have a secondary email address. You will come across numerous situations where you have to provide an email address. Keep the main one private and have an extra one for online services.

David De Haan from Standup Paddleboards Review

 

The average person should consider using a secure email service like ProtonMail. The cornerstone of your online privacy plan should be an email account with end-to-end encryption, which you can then use to sign up for additional services such as a VPN, etc.

Neil Roach from Boxroom Office

 

Don’t Give Out Personal Information Online

Always be a skeptic especially when sites ask for your details especially those which are not meant to be shared online like your bank account, birthday, your middle name, and your personal identity number.

Lewis from Skill Scouter

 

Check whether the company sells your personal information by searching the Privacy Policy for the words “sale”, “sell” or “selling”. Don’t use platforms that sell your personal information.

Donata Kalnenaite from Termageddon

 

If something looks phishy, wait and take a look at it in an hour or so. A lot of these phishing messages are trying to get you to act quickly without thinking. Have a plan on how you’re going to handle financial issues (like, above, calling a verified bank ph # or going into your bank).

Paul from WhiteCanyon Software

 

Try Privacy-Focused Services

Rethink the choice of operating systems if you’re concerned about privacy—switching to a security-focused Linux distribution might make more sense. Choose privacy-first software and services. Wherever possible, opt for a service (Signal over WhatsApp), browser (Tor), OS (Qubes OS), etc. that is created with maintaining privacy as a primary goal.

Lumena from SectigoStore

 

Use a search engine that protects your privacy, such as DuckDuckGo.

Kurt Hoeft from EasyIT

 

Google Chrome’s Incognito window isn’t as private as you may think. For better security, you can use a secure browser like TOR or modify the privacy settings in FireFox to surf the web. Firefox offers many privacy protection features and customization options.

Casey from SectigoStore

 

Advertisers can also collect loads of information about you through the use of cookies (that’s why you need to opt-in to that so many times when visiting websites). instead of opting out, which will render some websites unusable, try installing an add-on that can take care of this for you on an individual basis, although there will be a bit of legwork involved. A few to think about are Cookie AutoDelete, Cookies Exterminator, or Vanilla Cookie Manager.

David from National Air Warehouse

 

My biggest tip for online privacy is making sure you use a privacy focused browser. Privacy focused browsers block ad, social, and analytics trackers that follow you around the web. They also help mitigate fingerprinting practices, which fill-out scarily accurate shadow profiles of users.

Ashley from AvoidTheHack

 

If you’re looking for a safer, more privacy-focused browser alternative to Chrome, we’re recommending Brave.

 

Password Security

Use a password manager so you have strong, unique passwords (LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password are great examples).

Eric Ohlsen from Paper Trail Investigations

 

I always suggest using a password manager like LastPass or Bitwarden to automatically create different passwords for every site.

Daniel Worsley from LocalCoinSwap

 

Use a VPN

We’re pretty partial to this recommendation, but we believe that anyone that sends sensitive information across the internet (that’s everyone, btw) needs to be using a VPN. This applies to phones, desktop, even your home wifi routers.

 

Your Recommendations?

What would you add to this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments and we’ll update this post as new information comes in.

Spike in VPN Interest Due to Coronavirus

VPN interest worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in countless changes and adaptations around the globe, one of which is a greatly increased interest in VPN’s. We’ve seen an influx of traffic, mostly from consumers who appear to be completely new to VPN’s.

I’ve been using Google Trends to track the spike in interest and see what interesting tidbits can be learned.

Worldwide Interest is Up

Global VPN Interest
Global VPN Interest as of April 14, 2020

Live Data from Google Trends

March 17, 2020. It looks like global interest is up about 11% over the last week or so. I would expect this to continue increasing over the next 2-3 weeks as the virus continues to spread to new countries/regions.

April 14, 2020. VPN interest peaked at ~60% higher than usual the week of March 15-21. It’s declined since then but is still up more about 25% above pre-COVID levels.

VPN Interest In Italy Skyrocketed in Mid-March

Google Trends for VPN Interest in Italy
VPN Interest in Italy as of April 14, 2020

Live Data From Google Trends

March 17, 2020. This makes sense, because Italy was one of the first countries to be locked down. More users working from, watching media from home, etc. It will be interesting to see what new level the VPN interest holds at after this initial spike.

April 14, 2020. VPN interest in Italy has remained far above where it was pre-COVID. As of now Italy is still in lockdown-mode.

VPN Interest in US Doubled Before Declining

Google Trends for VPN in the US
VPN interest trends in the US as of April 14, 2020

Live Data From Google Trends

March 17, 2020. Again, this follow closely with the global spread of COVID-19. The US is behind Italy at the moment, so it follows that VPN interest is moving along the same path. If the US is truly following the same pattern, I would expect to see an even larger increase in interest over the next 1-2 weeks.

April 14, 2020. US interest peaked during the week of March 15-21, doubling previous interest. As Americans settled into shelter-in-place orders and schools and businesses closed, VPN interest peaked and then started declining. Interest is still significantly higher than before COVID-19.

Why the Increased Interest in VPN?

What can we learn from this spike in interest? Here are a few of my hypotheses.

Increase in corporate VPN interest due to working from home

Many people working from home, particularly for larger companies, are asked to utilize the company’s VPN to connect to the corporate network. Google Trends bears out this relationship very well, as you can see the clear connection between the increase in VPN interest and work from home interest over the last 2 months.

"Work From Home" Interest vs "VPN" Interest from Google Trends
“Work From Home” Interest vs “VPN” Interest from Google Trends as of April 14, 2020

People stuck at home are watching more online entertainment

Consumer VPN is synonymous with online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. because of the issue of geolocation. The data in Google Trends tends to back up this assumption to some degree. It’s hard to directly compare “VPN” to “Netflix” because of the vast difference in popularity, but if you focus on increases over the last couple of months in the chart below it’s hard to argue that they don’t correlate very well.

"VPN" interest vs "Netflix" interest on Google Trends
“VPN” interest vs “Netflix” interest on Google Trends as of April 14, 2020

More to Come

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

New VPN Server in Chisinau, Moldova

Chisinau, Moldova VPN Server

The latest Ghost Path VPN server location is up and running in Chisinau, Moldova. The Chisinau VPN service is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Chisinau VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in eastern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 125 operational servers in 52 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Chisinau VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Moldova the Chisinau gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Moldova but still would want to connect to the new server in Chisinau: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Belgrade server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New VPN Server in Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade VPN

We’ve just launched a new VPN server location in Belgrade, Serbia. The Belgrade VPN service is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Belgrade VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in eastern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 125 operational servers in 52 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Belgrade VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Serbia the Belgrade gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Serbia but still would want to connect to the new server in Belgrade: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Belgrade server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New VPN Server Location in Mumbai, India

Mumbai VPN Server

We’re excited to announce our newest VPN server location, Mumbai. The Mumbai location is the latest addition to our extensive presence in India.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Mumbai VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in southern Asia.

Ghost Path now has 114 operational servers in 50 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Mumbai VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in India the Mumbai gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in India but still would want to connect to the new server in Mumbai: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Mumbai server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.