How to control what personal information people see in Android

Do you know what information you share within the Google ecosystem? You can easily control what is visible or hidden, from with your Android device. Find out how.

Did you know that you are actually in control of what personal information people see when you create or share content within the  Google ecosystem, such as YouTube and Google Drive? If you're serious about your privacy, this is something you should certainly want to take control of. But how? 

Fortunately, Google has made this exceedingly easy from within the Android platform. I'm going to show you how to hide certain bits of information away from prying eyes.

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What you'll need

In order to hide your information, you'll need an Android device. I'll be demonstrating on a Google Pixel 4, running Android 10, but the steps should be the same on most recent releases of Google's mobile operating system.

How to hide your information in Android

This is actually very simple. What you want is the Google About Me page. There are two ways to access this: 

  1. From within Settings.
  2. From Chrome. 

I'll be showing you how to do this from within the Android Settings app.

To access this app, pull down the notification shade twice and then tap the Settings gear icon. From there, tap Privacy | Autofill Service From Google | Personal Information. In the Personal Information page (Figure A), locate the section of information you want to either hide or reveal to the public.

Figure A

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The Android take on the Google About Me page.

Once you've found the information you want to control, tap the edit button associated with the section (the pencil icon), (Figure B).

Figure B

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The Sites section includes a listing of sites you find interesting or like to promote.

In the edit window, you can add/remove/edit any of the listed sites. Once you've made your changes, tap OK to save. Back at the section, tap the lock button and then tap either Hidden or Visible (Figure C).

Figure C

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Hide or make your information visible to the world from within Android.

Go through your entire Google About Me listing and make sure you are okay with which content is visible and which is hidden. I would suggest hiding (at least) the following:

  • Personal contact info

  • Work contact info 

  • Gender, birthday, and more

All the rest of the information should be safe to share--so long as you don't add any sensitive data or information that could bring about a privacy issue.

And that's all there is to controlling what personal information is associated with any content you create or share from within the Google ecosystem. Take this seriously, and make sure you're not sharing any piece of information that could lead to a breach in your personal privacy or security.

Also see

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Image: Jack Wallen