The convenience of today’s large search engines comes with a price. That price is sacrificing your privacy for the sake of convenience. Consumers are beginning to realize that they now have choices about which engines to use. The private search engines are seeing their number of users grow exponentially.
What search engines do the most to protect your data? Below, are just a few examples of the many private search engines that have chosen to not store data profiles.
Search engines that protect your data:
You can use this as your primary internet search engine. https://duckduckgo.com/ now have a mobile app as well. They built their entire business model on the concept of not storing any personal or tracking information. They do not even store IP addresses. Their search engine also grades each website based on privacy. They proprietary system protects your privacy by rerouting your information. When you reach a webpage, the webpage cannot determine what clicks you used to reach them.
This private search engine at https://www.hotbot.com/ retains your usage data for the duration of your visit and to comply with all laws, but does not sell your data. Their motto of “search safely with HotBot” sums up the seriousness given to protecting your data.
Combining great search results, user-friendly settings and excellent privacy features make this one of the best private search engines available. https://www.startpage.com/ use results from Google, but with no data collection. It includes a proxy feature. It will show you an “anonymous view” link next to every search result. Clicking this link allows you to hide your IP address. You also have several different filter options to customize your experience.
One of the only search engines available that is exclusively for various adult topics. Users can keep all their searches and results contained in https://hot.com/ without receiving irrelevant results. They also offer reasonable privacy practices and allow you to opt-out of information sharing.
An open source metasearch engine that pulls results from major engines like Bing and Yahoo. https://metager.org/ is a German company now operated by a non-profit foundation. The foundation is SUMA-EV, the Association for Free Access to Knowledge. It provides search filter options such as date, safe search and language. This search engine also allows proxy viewing with the option to “view anonymously.”
Things to Consider When Choosing a Search Engine
The big search engines today collect your data to be used mainly by advertising companies. They are not transparent about how your data is secured and they sell their “knowledge profiles” of users to advertisers.
Deeply personal information can be contained in that knowledge profile. From your browsing history to your medical history, do you really want that information for sale?
A majority of the smaller, private engines use the same results as the big-name search engines. They simply hide your identity and do not collect your personal information.
All you are sacrificing is targeted advertising. More and more consumers are finding such advertising a nuisance instead of a benefit.
Targeted ads are a booming industry. But, do you find value in being bombarded by advertisement on every site you visit after doing a search? Does doing your online shopping through established and trusted retailers make more sense than clicking on an ad that could take you to a mock site?
What happens when huge portions of the data profiles are hacked? Who then has access to that information and in how many ways will it be used to do damage?
Though you may think you have nothing to hide, consider how much big data probably knows about you. Do you want to continue to add to their profiles of information about you? More and more internet users are saying enough and moving to private search engines that do not track users at all.