Privacy Tip #3 - Safely searching the internet
With the filter bubbles in the back of our mind we're going to take a look at ways to search the web more safely. When surfing the web, your search engine is your best friend. You share your most intimate thoughts when searching for information, but a search engine like Google will track your IP address, place tracking-cookies and remember all your search queries. Your political preferences, medical conditions, relationship troubles and financial matters are all in the hands of the search giant. Adding it to your profile and manipulating the search results based on that heap of data. Your best friend making money out of the intimate thoughts you share with him... 🤔
So how can you prevent this profiling while not affecting your internet sessions? Let me introduce you to two great and simple alternatives who can be your best friend.
My personal favorite search engine is DuckDuckGo. Besides having a fantastic name and logo it just works great. They hold privacy in high esteem and don't track you or anything you've searched for. You can also customize the search engine to your liking with the various settings.
If you can't find what your looking for with DuckDuckGo, you can always resort to the special commands, called Bangs. It let's you search numerous other search engines by just typing in the DuckDuckGo search bar (yes even Google). So if you really want to search a specific topic on Google then type
searchquery !g. Bangs are available for many websites. You can search for coffee beans on Amazon with
coffee beans !amazon or lookup a great movie on IMDB with
Less clicking, no advertisements, more surfing, more privacy! 😎
Easy tips to get you going with DuckDuckGo:
- Install the Android app and replace the default Google searchbar with the DuckDuckGo widget.
- Install the iOS app
- Setup DuckDuckGo as your default search engine for your browser. Click on the name of your browser for a short how-to: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer of Microsoft Edge.
Another alternative is StartPage.com. The smart thing that StartPage does, is that it uses Google Search under the hood whilst protecting your privacy. They do this by acting as a proxy between you and Google, meaning that Google won't be able to tie the search query to your IP-address, add the query to the profile they have on you and can't track your other web usage. So it's just Google, but in a safe and anonymous way.
Easy tips to get you going with StartPage:
- Setup StartPage.com as your default search engine for your browser: Visit this page, it explains how to setup Startpage specific for your browser.
- Install the Android app and replace the default Google searchbar with the StartPage widget.
- Install the iOS app.
Do you use another privacy-friendly search engine or did this post raise questions? Let me know and we'll talk!
This article is part of my Privacy tips
I've committed myself to raising awareness about online privacy for my dear friends, family and everybody who is willing to listen. Helping them in an approachable way to take back control of your online presence.
Are you interested in taking matters into your own hands, but don't know where to start? Schedule a Privacy Talk with me and we'll work it out!