Increase your search privacy by using DuckDuckGo

One of my colleagues has been looking for a more private search engine, other than using Google HTTPS. He found DuckDuckGo which lets you search the Internet privately by not storing your personal details or recording your search queries. If you use a script blocker such as NotScripts (Chrome) NotScripts (Firefox) you will need to allow the DuckDuckGo domain. There are no other scripts (i.e. JavaScript) running. 🙂

DuckDuckGo Privacy Policy says it doesn’t track it’s users. It doesn’t send your searches to other sites, by default it does not use any cookies, it does not collect personal information, it does not log your IP address or other information about your computer that may be sent automatically with your searches, it doesn’t store any personal information at all. If you are going to ask should I trust these words, well you could say the same with Google or Bing. Privacy Policies have bite in the US and in particular with the FCC, so users can feel assured their data isn’t’ being collected for commercial purposes.

One might feel mistrusting of a site when highlights Registrant Contact: WhoisGuard Protected – this isn’t any different to my whois – check my blog out. People can still see and trust me, but given I’ve been around in the security and privacy field for some years, time has helped people trust me and the advice I provide. Well, I hope so!

To increase your search privacy in DuckDuckGo – these should be set as default

  • Click > ‘More’ option (bottom right hand corner)
  • Choose > ‘Settings’ then click the ‘Privacy tab’
  • Ensure the ‘Redirect’ option is set to ‘On’ *
  • You can also Choose ‘Hide query’ from the ‘Address bar’ drop down menu *

*This option prevents websites from seeing where you cam from, and also set HTTP to ‘On’ to always use the encrypted (HTTPS) versions of websites where applicable.

** This stops your search queries appearing in your browser’s address bar.

Worth pointing out, by default, your browser settings are stored in non-personal browser cookies (in your browser). You can use DuckDuckGo Anonymous Cloud Save to store your settings in a more permanent way (on a remote server in the cloud). No personally identifiable information will be stored in the cloud, and your pass phrase will never leave your browser.

Having run this browser I’ve been impressed with the speed at which it queries search results and renders some high traffic websites. I suggest giving DuckDuckGo a go. Let me know what you think.

Safe surfing folks!

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