DuckDuckGo

Increased state surveillance, countless security breaches and widespread concern about data sharing have spooked many of us into wanting to protect our privacy more than ever.

Despite bubbling almost under the radar for nine years, anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo is now finding its stride in this current climate. In January, it announced it had passed ten billion searches, with four billion occurring in 2016.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo describes itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. It promises not to use cookies to follow users and says it doesn’t collect any personal information on those who use it. Even your IP address is hidden.

All hail the privacy pioneers! DuckDuckGo’s ambitious plans to be more than a search engine

How is it different to Google and Bing?

All hail the privacy pioneers! DuckDuckGo’s ambitious plans to be more than a search engine

When you click on links from Google and Bing, even in private mode, the search terms are sent to the site you’re visiting in the HTTP referrer header. When you visit that site, your computer automatically shares information, such as your IP address. This information can be used to identify you.

DuckDuckGo calls this “search leakage” and prevents it happening by default on its search results. Instead, when you click on a link on the site it redirects that request in such a way to prevent it sending your search terms to other sites. The sites know that you visited them, but they don’t know what search you entered beforehand, nor can they use personal information to identify you.

DuckDuckGo additionally offers an encrypted version that automatically changes links from a number of major sites to point to the encrypted versions, including Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.

 

 

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