Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Can I Tell If the Person Who Shares My Gmail Account Has Ever Checked the Search History?

I have a Gmail account and my web history was activated. However, I share
this account with someone and I’m wondering if they ever went in to view the
web history section, as I have just viewed it for the first time myself only
recently. Is there any way to tell if someone has checked the web
history section in the past?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #13
, I talk about how Google identifies users in an account and
how the web history feature might surprise you.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

A history of your web history?

No. At least, not that I’m aware of.

When you are logged into your account, I mean if you’re sharing this
account, Google makes no differentiation between you and the other person.
Google simply doesn’t know. You’re logged into this account with “Your
Account;” you’re doing what you’re doing… Google can’t see whose fingers are
actually at the keyboard.

Google tracking

The real issue here is: it’s important for people to realize that this
feature exists.

If it is something that you are concerned about, I would strongly recommend
that you go and turn off the Google web search history.

I do have an article on it. It’s actually an older podcast of mine called,
Google’s web
history might surprise you
.”

Check out the Google History feature

In fact, if you go out to Google.com/history, you may find that a lot
of your activity over the past weeks, months, or in some cases, years has
been associated with your account and recorded. If that bothers you, if you’re
sharing your account and there are things there that you don’t want other
people to see, then you can turn it off. You can erase it.

What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that erasing it doesn’t mean
that Google doesn’t still know. This is all information they keep; it’s part of
your account.

The only thing that the web history interface does is expose it to you.
Erasing only removes it from view, which (especially if you’re sharing the
account) might be exactly what you want to do.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips & a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

NOW: name your own price! You decide how much to pay -- and yes, that means you can get this report completely free if you so choose. Get your copy now!

1 thought on “Can I Tell If the Person Who Shares My Gmail Account Has Ever Checked the Search History?”

  1. Share a G-Mail account? What for? How much does an account cost? These people must have a very special relationship such that they’ll split the cost of a free account. What am I missing here?

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.