feature image via Shutterstock.
Editor’s note: Ali here! Hello! Sometimes y’all send me emails — anything from questions about dildos to questions about your computer. A lot of you do this, so I don’t always get to your questions right away. Sometimes I don’t get to your questions at all. Sometimes I mean to get to your question, and then I have six deadlines and I forget (I’m sorry about that). And sometimes I actually do not know the answer to your question. It’s something I hate admitting — if I had my way, I’d know everything about everything all the time forever and ever. Luckily, we do have someone like that on staff. So when I didn’t know and couldn’t definitively find the answer, I turned to our Tech Director, Cee Webster. Here’s the question and what Cee came up with:
I’m hoping you can help me with a tech question, as I’m freaking out currently. I’m a teacher and was logged onto my school Gmail on my home computer for some stuff and closed the window instead of signing out. I was on YouTube which was then linked to my school Gmail account and clicked on a book club discussion video for Tipping the Velvet (titled “Vaginal Fantasy #19: Tipping the Velvet: Featuring Hannah Hart”). ANYWHO, I realized I was signed in under my school e-mail after I clicked on this video (which sounds a whole lot worse than it was, at least the three minutes of it I watched before massively loosing my shit). I quickly signed out of my school account and closed the page. Is this something I should contact my school tech person about? Or should I just pretend it didn’t happen?? I’m in a SUPER conservative district and already not liked by administration for being “too political.” Or is this stuff not really monitored if it’s coming from a home computer? I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but I feel like this could potentially get me into some major shit…
Don’t panic! It looks like you’re in the clear. From what I can tell, Google Apps admins can not see your web search or YouTube history from the admin panel. The only way they could see the history would be if they had your password and logged in as you. I’m assuming you set your own password, so you’re fine. If not, go in and change your password so only you have it.
As an admin, the only way I can gain access to a user’s account would be to change their password and then log in as them. You’d know this had happened though, because your password would no longer work. So unless they made you reset your password recently, this did not happen.
Google saves your web search and browsing history to help predict and tweak your future search results. Fortunately you can see the history, and delete certain searches or sites. Log into your work account and go see yours. [Editor’s note: this is hilarious. The last two things I searched for were “lemongrab gif” and “don quixote bowl.” I recommend doing this regardless of whether or not you have a problem with your search history. Just for lolz.] Your admins can’t see this – only you can. Find that video anyway and delete it for your own peace of mind.
You can also completely turn off your search and browsing history from your work account going forward, to prevent future freak-outs.
So there you have it! You’re totally safe! To celebrate, here’s the video you were trying to watch — you can definitely get through more than three minutes of it this time.