In our first article about the tools to protect your privacy, we talked about the main gateway to the Internet - the browser. It is time to talk about the second one - search engines.
You might have heard that major search engines track their users and those stories are right. It is no secret today that search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others track almost 100% of search queries you do and tailor the results you see on your screen specifically for you. In other words, they give you personalized results. On the other hand, your search data is being exploited to serve relevant ads to you while you browse the Internet.
As most of us use Google for our searching needs, there is a big chance you do too. So head over at https://myactivity.google.com and have a look at your activity across different Google services and get amazed at how much data is being gathered about you. It is also worth mentioning that to abide the modern regulations Google and others offer the option to delete your history and it is recommended that you use this feature regularly, to prevent the accumulation of massive data about your activities.
We recommend three search engines that preserve your privacy:
DuckDuckGo is a very popular privacy-protecting search engine. They deliver results with "quality over quantity" in mind. DuckDuckGo does not track you or serve ads and does not filter search results. They also provide an application for iOS and Android and an extension to Chrome for such added functionality as blocking trackers, encrypting traffic and so on.
Startpage is a very user-friendly search engine which uses Google's search results, removes all tracking information and serves it to you. Using Google's results makes it familiar and the results are also high in quality. Startpage does not keep any relevant information regarding you so they state that they are not afraid of anyone because they have nothing to hand over to them. Another wonderful feature of Startpage is Anonymous View in which it proxies you to the website so that your computer is not barraged with cookies. Startpage does not filter the results either, so no tailored and personalized searches there.
Searx is a metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing information about its users. It does not store any information about you, does not track you or personalize results. What's more, Searx is a free software, the code is 100% open and you can help to make it better. See more at GitHub.