Missing phones pictures in Google

How do I get my pictures back in Google?  My phone (I thought) was syncing all my pictures to Google so that when I took a new picture, it would automatically appear online but private, and I wasn't having to pay extra for this service.  Now when I go to my Google profile and click pictures, I no longer see them.  Please advise.
frugalmuleAsked:
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Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
Is your phone syncing data in general? Do you have sync over wifi only selected and you're not on wifi? Are you still authenticated correctly?
frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Auto-sync for Google is on and so is wifi.
frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
The only items I see under the sync options for what to sync in Google are:

App Data - whatever that means
Calendar
Chrome
Contacts
Docs
Drive
Gmail
Google Fit data
Google Play Books
Google Play Movies and TV
Google Play Music
Google Play Newstand
Keep
MyGoogleDrive
People details
Sheets
Slides
Tasks
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Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
Are you using the google photos app on your phone? Have you started the app lately? I just got asked to upgrade the photos app and the first screen it showed me after I updated was a prompt to backup my photos & videos.

This setting can also be found under the in-app settings for the google photos app.
frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
That seems to work.  Love that approach.  

A potential problem now though exists when you are on your computer and not on the phone.  Suppose I want to attach a recently captured picture to an email. I don't see a desktop app that would keep it synchronized with your Windows computer also.
Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
I found a link to an official desktop app, but I haven't tried it out before.

https://photos.google.com/apps
frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
It turns out that it isn't even needed.  You can simply click on the picture from your google account at photos.google.com and chose copy image.  It then resides in memory to be pasted directly into the body of an email.  Nicely done Google.

Now this opens up some privacy concerns.  Can you see this picture https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OgeuhzHWu2OaWhLofIdO4KZRbuzLiirJKmxz0LA9L38=w370-h653-no

If so, how can I keep my content private?
Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
I can see the link.

Here is an excerpt from a google support page:

"Your automatically backed up photos and videos are private unless you choose to share them."

Since you shared the photo it's not private.

https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6156103?hl=en

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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
I don't see where I can set the security for any of it?

If you copy URL link for the photo, then you can paste it. That option exists for all photos.

I need to be able to visibly verify and take a screenshot confirming that sharing is off for photos that I have not chosen to share.
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