Your ‘OK Google’ questions are kept on file, so be careful what you ask

Google My Account
You know what they say — once it’s on the Internet, it lives forever. And apparently, that applies to all the questions you asked Google via your microphone. Not only can the search engine store information you write online, it can also keep records of audio recordings, including all the “Ok Google” inquiries you may have had over the years.

When the tech giant released its new “My Account” feature on Monday, users were surprised to learn that spoken inquiries as well as text searches were archived by the site. According to Google, having these records of your voice helps the search engine better recognize your cadences and speech patterns, thereby providing more accurate results and answers to your questions. But as helpful as these practices may be in theory, they’re still a bit creepy.

The good news is that in revealing its archiving practices, Google has also given users the option to opt out of this storage process, so if the thought of Google keeping recordings of your voice for months (and perhaps even years, as it’s currently unclear how long these records are kept) on end is too much to handle, you can politely ask them to stop. And if you’d like to monitor your history of voice recordings to see just how curious you were over the last few months, you can go to the “Voice and Audio Activity” section of the “My Account” feature.

Of course, Google is not the only company to store and learn its users’ voices. Apple’s famous Siri also keeps these recordings on file for up to two years, which helps the program learn users’ habits, both in terms of the types of questions they ask and the way in which they ask them. Microsoft’s Cortana similarly stores information in order to “learn about you.”

So don’t be alarmed by how well your computer knows you. After all, if you feel it getting too close, you can always hit the reset button.


Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.