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No doubt, Google is useful when you’ve got some questions that need answering, you need a quick timer setting, or you want to check up on the weather report. With Google Assistant, you can take control of your smart home, have a chat with your buddies, order take out online, and a whole range of other stuff, all through voice commands.

All of these features won’t suit everyone perfectly, so you may want to disable some of them on your Google smart speaker or smart display.

Whether you’re concerned about privacy issues or you’re looking for a more natural conversation experience, Molly Price prepared 5 things you don’t need to have activated for cnet, that we bring to you here. Worried about privacy? Want a more natural conversation experience? Here are five things to toggle off for a better and safer Google Assistant experience.

Check your settings for voice recordings

In a recent announcement, Google confirmed some updates to the privacy settings on your voice recordings. Without an opt-in, your audio recordings won’t be saved or shared with human analysts and used to update the Google algorithms. If you’ve ever opted in before, or have recordings that you’ve saved in the past, you get to set the length of time that Google can store the info.

To adjust these settings, visit this link or in your Home app, tap on your profile picture in the top right, followed by Assistant Settings. There, you’ll land on the You tab. Select Your Data in the Assistant and scroll down to Audio Recordings. Tap to see options for saving, reviewing, and deleting recordings. 

Look at continued conversations

So that Google Assistant can check if you’ve got more questions to ask, there’s the continued conversation setting. Through this, you don’t need to say “Hey, Google…” for each question you input. It’s pretty useful, but it’s not always a smooth process to go through, particularly when there is no follow up question or you’re just chatting to a friend in the same room. It’s not permanent so you can adjust it. 

To turn off Continued Conversation in the Home app, tap on your profile picture in the top right, followed by Assistant Settings. In the next screen, navigate to the Assistant tab. There you’ll see several options including Continued Conversation. From here, toggle Continued Conversation to off and you get to select which speakers won’t use the feature anymore.  

Change how sensitive “Hey Google” is

How often do you reckon you’ve accidentally roused your smart speaker from its slumber? It might be that your setting for the sensitivity of “Hey, Google” is a little high. Whatever wake words you use, you can adjust how likely your Google Assistant will respond and how hard it’ll listen to your words.

To adjust the sensitivity in the Home app, tap on your profile picture in the top right, followed by Assistant Settings. In the next screen, navigate to the Assistant tab and you’ll see several options including “Hey Google” sensitivity. There you’ll be able to adjust the sensitivity for each individual speaker in your home. Choose the speaker you’d like to manage and opt for one of the 5 settings from “least sensitive” to “most sensitive.” 

Set your camera up right

For those who use a smart display to access your Google Assistant, like the Next Hub Max, Lenovo Smart Display, or a JBL Link View, disabling your camera whilst you’re not using it is handy. There’s no set standard for doing this since each display is different. JBL and Lenovo have options to physically shutter your device, but there’s not an in-built shutter with Google’s own display, the Nest Hub Max.  

As an alternative, on the back of the display you’ll find a toggle button that lets you switch off the microphone and camera. There’s an indicator light next to the camera lens so you can see if it’s working or not. It’s a bit of  a pain since you’ll have to remember to turn it on and off each time you want to use the camera. It’s better than nothing that you can ensure the camera’s off when you don’t want it used.

Control your activity

Similarly to voice recordings, Google saves information on the sites and apps you use with your Google account. So, if you are worried about privacy, simply adjust these settings.

In the Home app, tap on your profile picture in the top right, followed by Assistant Settings. Tap the three dots on the top right of your screen and select Google activity controls. From here, you’ll get a page where you can control everything that Google records and stores from your internet and app activity. You can opt for the automated delete and choose how frequently your data will be removed.

Regardless of how many settings you adjust, personalizing your voice assistant can make the entire experience much more pleasant. When you’ve got lots of people living together, make the most out of Voice Match and Household Contacts settings.

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