Search Anonymously and Other Websites Worth Knowing About

Here’s the bottom line up front – For private or anonymous searching, use DuckDuckGo or StartPage.  This is one way to avoid those annoying ads that follow you around the Internet.

Here’s how a typical Internet search might unfold:

  1. Open your Internet browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.)
  2. Navigate to a search engine page (Google, Bing, Yahoo!)
  3. Enter your search term (home health care)
  4. Click on search results (Visiting Angels)

So far so good, eh?  Maybe, maybe not.  How come now I’m getting ads for Visiting Angels and other home health care services when I’m on Facebook and other unrelated sites?

Behind the scenes, unbeknownst to you, the search engine site sends your search term to the site you click on (in this case Visiting Angels).  The site, in turn, sends your search terms, browser information, and computer information to a third party vendor who dishes up ads.  That vendor builds a profile for you and continues to dish up ads wherever you go on the Internet.  Furthermore, the vendor may choose to sell your profile.  It’s kind of like when subscription services sell your address and you start getting ads and catalogs from companies you’ve never done business with.

DuckDuckGo and StartPage do not share your search terms, browser information, or computer information.  They offer anonymous searching.

duckduckgoDuckDuckGo has been around since early 2008.  Privacy is the prime concern.  As founder Gabriel Weinberg says “By default, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell.”  DuckDuckGo uses its own web crawler to gather Internet information, but it also partners with WolframAlphaYahoo!Wikipedia, and others to reach across cyberspace for content.

StartPage serves as an intermediary, anonymizing search queries and delivering them to Google.  StartPage gets the results and delivers them to startpageyou in total privacy.  According to the StartPage website, “Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged, and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser.”

I know you have come to trust the search results you get from Google, but you will also get good search results from DuckDuckGo or StartPage.  Give it a go, and let us know whether anonymous searching makes a difference in your life.

Websites Worth Knowing About

PronounceHow.com – Learn to pronounce a person’s name before telephoning.  You really don’t want to start the conversation by saying their name wrong.

MarineTraffic.com – Free, real-time ship tracking including cargo and passenger ships.  Fun and interesting.

Streamer – Visualize and understand water flows in America.  Follow streams from their source to where they empty.

Swizzle – Clean up your email inbox and unsubscribe from unwanted commercial mailing lists.