By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
Search engines make it easier for users to navigate through countless sources of information online, but using them can compromise your online privacy. To protect your anonymity and privacy, using a privacy search engine together with an anonymous VPN is the perfect solution.
Why we use search engines
The World Wide Web contains vast amounts of valuable information. Search engines are important because it allows us to sort through oceans of data in order to get only the relevant bits based on the string of words that we type in. It allows us to access websites without the need to memorize their URLs, discover new content, and look for solutions to our problems much easier.
Search engines are among the most heavily used Internet applications worldwide. As of April 2017, the year-on-year average for searches per day is 6,586,013,574 worldwide. In terms of global usage for search engines, Google unsurprisingly leads the pack with a lion’s share of 77.43 percent; Baidu, Bing and Yahoo follow suit with 8.13 percent, 7.31 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.
The downsides of using search engines
They record your information – When you use search engines, particularly the popular ones, your search history, the websites you visit, the credentials you input and your basic information such as your name, age, and location are recorded. What makes this alarming is that users with the right tools and knowhow can access these bits of information.
They create profiles of you – Search engines can create a “profile” of you using all the information they collect about you. This allows their algorithms to tailor the ads and even search results that appear on your page based on your profile, which can be unsettling for many.
They place cookies on your device – Website cookies are bits of data stored by your search engine in your device whenever you visit a particular website. The aim of website cookie technology is to make browsing easy for you, but it can also be used as a way to record your browsing history or monitor your online activities.
Privacy search engines
If you’re concerned about your privacy and anonymity when using Google, Bing or Yahoo, then you may want to consider using privacy search engines. Unlike their popular counterparts, privacy search engines don’t collect information about you, so your privacy is protected and you remain anonymous when you go online.
DuckDuckGo is search engine that does not collect or share your personal information. It also does not employ tailored ads, making it a must-have for Internet users who value their privacy. You can get DuckDuckGo as an extension for Chrome.
StartPage is another solid contender for the best privacy search engine that you can use. It helps keep your information private by making use of a proxy server for all of your searches. This can protect you from websites that keep tabs on your IP address.
Qrobe is a metasearch engine that relies on results from other search engines to deliver results to its users. When you type in keywords on Qrobe, it uses search results from Google and Bing and combines them so you can get results that are not biased.
Hulbee is similar to other privacy search engines in that it does not collect information about its users. What makes it different is that it is a semantic search engine, meaning it uses algorithms to analyze the searcher’s intent and the context of the keywords. It’s a search engine that not only protects your privacy, but is also smart.
Improve your online privacy by downloading an anonymous VPN
In addition to using privacy search engines, you may also want to use an anonymous VPN such as Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield uses advanced encryption technology to protect your web traffic from hackers and spies. In addition to this, Hotspot Shield hides your IP address and replaces it temporarily, preventing online crooks from monitoring your online footprints while also allowing you to access blocked content.