How to Make Your Web Searches More Secure and Private


You’ll also see drop-down menus above your search results that let you filter them by location and time. Depending on what keywords you’ve used, you might also see a Local results tab—this will temporarily make use of your IP address to find results from regional sites, but this IP address isn’t saved. As soon as you close down the Brave search tab, everything is forgotten.

DuckDuckGo Search

DuckDuckGo is simple, secure, and private.

Screenshot: David Nield via DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo has been around for much longer than the Brave search engine, and so it has more in the way of features and options. Its focus is the same: to help you search the web privately, without your queries being registered. It pulls data from hundreds of different sources, including the Microsoft Bing search engine and Apple Maps.

As with the Brave search engine, your searches are never logged or recorded—every time you turn up at the DuckDuckGo portal, you’re seen as a new user. You will notice advertising alongside the search results that you get through DuckDuckGo, but these ads aren’t targeted, and the advertising networks behind them don’t know anything about you.

“Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information,” says DuckDuckGo, which also develops a browser extension and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You don’t need to register an account with the service, and you won’t find a history of your searches anywhere in DuckDuckGo, making it impossible for the company to monetize them. The portal is now handling about 80 million searches a day.

DuckDuckGo is very straightforward to use: Just type your query into the main search box and hit the Enter key to get started. For certain queries, like celebrity names or places that can be found on a map, you might see pop-out boxes alongside your main search results. For topical searches, a few recent news updates might be included too.

Along the top of the search results list you’ll see ways of filtering the matches that you’re seeing. You can focus on Images, Videos, News, Maps, or Shopping for example, as well as set filters based on location or the time that a page was last updated. Use the Settings link on the right to change the appearance of the results page and to change various other DuckDuckGo options.

Limiting Google

You can break the connection between Google Chrome and your Google account.

Screenshot: David Nield via Google

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re using Google Chrome and you’re signed into Google, you may well be syncing your DuckDuckGo or Brave searches back to your Google account. Your Google web history and your Chrome browsing history (if you’re signed into Google) will match up most of the time, because Google keeps them in sync by default, partly to make it easier to use Google across multiple devices.



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