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List of privacy search engines for anonymous Internet search
Posted on 26 September, 2010
Search the internet with privacy
Every time you use a search engine to look something up on the Internet personally identifiable information will be collected by all major search engines. The search terms submitted to the search engine, as well as the time, date, and geographical location of the computer carrying out the search will be logged and stored.
The search words you enter are often stored within search boxes in your browser, your computer will normally cache those words and pages you visit, your searched for terms can be retrieved by anyone with access to the hard disk.
Do you really want search engines like Google or Bing to know everything you search for on the internet?
What information do search engines keep?
1) IP Address: Your personal computer IP address can be traced back to you through a reverse DNS lookup with tools finding out not only your ISP but also your approximate location such as State or Province.
2) Date & Time: The exact date and time you were searching for a certain keyword will be logged. The browser you use is normally also stored in search engines logs.
3) Query Terms: The terms your searched for will be stored.
4) Cookie ID: A unique code is embedded into the cookie and assigned to a particular computer by the search engine. It allows a search engine to learn if requests came from a particular computer, as long as that identifiable cookie is still stored in the browser Internet searches can be linked and traced back to you independently of what computer IP you use.
Notice that after some pressure from privacy groups some major search engines have begun to mask the computer user IP address on their search logs but this does not make your search history anonymous.
What information do search engines send to webmasters?
After you click on one of the results given by the search engine, your search terms are passed to the website server logs, that webmaster will know what search terms you used to find that site, the referring URL and your IP address, as well as other data like your Internet browser and operating system you are using and even your default browser language, all of this can help to identify you.
Google maps search
Google maps search
Privacy search engine Duck Duck Go
Your web browser automatically sends information about your user agent and IP address to the search engine but Duck Duck Go will not store it at all. This information could be used to link you to your searches and other search engines will use it to show you more targeted advertising. Duck Duck Go will go out of its way to delete that data.
At Duck Duck Go no cookies are used by default and they do not work with any affiliate program that will share personally identifiable information like name and address. Feedback at Duck Duck Go can also be given anonymous not having to enter an email address in the form (it can be left blank). This privacy search engine also allows searching via its SSL website and lots of customization options.
Duck Duck Go pulls results from Microsoft’s Bing and Google search APIs, a lot of what you’re getting are results you could find on those search engines with the added advantage that your personal privacy is respected while searching the Internet. Duck Duck Go also has its own web crawler and web index.