When you open an Archify account with Google’s Chrome browser, you’re immediately warned about what the service’s plug-in will do.
For example, it will access data from websites you visit; read and modify bookmarks; detect your physical location; and read, modify, and access your browsing history.
You can set up your Archify account using your Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook credentials; or by using an email account and separate password.
If you are security-conscious, you won’t want to use credentials from other accounts for your archify account. That’s because, as technology journalist Mat Honan painfully discovered earlier this year, linking accounts with common information can be a gold mine for hackers.
A safer course of action would be to create login credentials with an email address and a unique password.
After signing up, you’re asked to pick a location for your Archify archive. The choices are Archify’s servers or your Gmail account, if you have one.
Next, you can add your social media accounts, as well as Gmail, to Archify. That will allow Archify to capture information from services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In addition to social media pages, Archify will capture most web pages you visit. By default, it won’t capture pages protected with the https protocol. You can also configure the service to ignore pages that you only view for a short period of time, such as three seconds or so.
In Chrome, pages visited while the browser is in incognito mode won’t be stored, either. However, that default can be overridden by using the plug-in’s settings menu.
Not only will Archify exclude certain pages from your archive, but it allows you to exclude entire websites from it, too. You can do that by adding those sites to a blacklist.
Statistics and resources
After setting up an account, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for pages to start appearing in Archify.
From your Archify home screen, you can view your archived items in a number of ways, as well as search through all of them. You can look at them by account (Facebook, Twitter, and such); by time (day, week, month or a custom period); or by items you’ve marked as favorites or shared with others.
You can also sort the items in your archive by their relevance to a search or by time.
For numbers lovers, Archify also has a stats feature that will break out your Web activity into charts.
What’s nice about Archify is its developers don’t make you jump through hoops to get rid of their product. You can easily disable or remove it with a menu from the Archify icon on the Chrome toolbar. And if you want to eliminate your account entirely, you can do so from your online settings, and Archify promises to purge all your information within 48 hours of that action.
If you find yourself frequently searching for places you’ve been on the web or Facebook postings or tweets you’ve read, Archify can be a valuable tool for finding what you want when you want to without a lot of hassle.
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John Mello writes on technology and cyber security for a number of online publications and is former managing editor of the Boston Business Journal and Boston Phoenix. Disclosure: He also writes for Hewlett-Packad's marketing website TechBeacon.