eli5: Google Sync (Profile Management)

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What is it? How does it work and why does Google say you can’t use it on a public computer?

Apologies if this sounds ridiculous. I’m not the tech geek I wish I was.

In: Technology

So just a preface – Google Sync is pretty much over with at this point.

But to answer your question, it was simply a service to help you keep different devices in sync when it came to personalized things like your bookmarks or search history. So if you logged into Google with your account on a new computer or mobile device, all of your settings would be downloaded automatically so you could access all of your bookmarks without having to manually copy them all over (which is what we all used to have to do several years ago).

A public computer is one that you don’t personally own, like a computer at school or at the library, where a complete stranger might be using it an hour after you do. Because you MIGHT have sensitive personal information stored in your profile somewhere, it’s a good idea to not use services like Google Sync on those kinds of computers just in case the next user gets curious and starts peeking through the settings and seeing things about you that they shouldn’t see.