The Internet today is full of advertising trackers that monitor what you search for. Even Facebook Messenger scans your messages. Maybe you mentioned a pair of jeans that you want. Suddenly you’re being sent ads from a blue jeans company. Internet browsers like Google track your every move to monetize all the possible data they can acquire. Most people don’t like this. So, how can you search without being tracked? Check out DuckDuckGo.
What is DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. Its use has been exploding, and this isn’t a coincidence.
DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008. Today it has been used in over 22 billion anonymous searches. It’s no wonder — People have concerns over their privacy when communicating online. Even Firefox and Safari have extensions for DuckDuckGo.
Daniel Davis, Community Manager for DuckDuckGo, states that:
“Our increasing traffic and exposure reflects the increasing public awareness and growing concern that personal data is not being treated properly online, and our fundamental right to privacy is not being properly respected by many companies… Put simply, people have had enough, and are now doing something about it.”
DuckDuckGo conducted a study in 2017 revealing that 24% of adults in the U.S. consider privacy as crucial for their next device purchase. And the majority also said that they’d use a new search engine if it didn’t collect their personal information.
Why Should I Consider DuckDuck Over Google?
Google sells advertisements via its search engine on over 2.2 million websites and over 1 million applications. Whenever you visit one of these websites or apps, Google stores your information and uses it to target ads at you.
The Princeton WebTAP privacy project found that Google’s trackers are installed on 75% of the top million internet websites. This makes it seem like Google really isn’t just a search company. They’re more like an advertising company.
DuckDuckGo aggressively emphasizes privacy. They don’t store a single byte of your history, and it keeps you from being tracked online. This is why so many are making the switch from Google to DuckDuckGo.
With increasingly invasive advertising, devastating data breaches, and privacy regulations increasing, DuckDuckGo expects those looking for a private search engine will increase.
How Do I Access DuckDuckGo?
- Open the DuckDuckGo website in a new tab or window.
- Click the ‘Use in Chrome’ button.
- Click the ‘Add to Chrome’ button.
- In Chrome, go to ‘Settings > Search Engines > Manage’
- Find DuckDuckGo.
To increase privacy be sure to “install browser extensions to block web trackers” or enable the “Do Not Track” setting in your browser.
Is DuckDuckGo Totally Private?
DuckDuckGo is a private search engine. It’s adamant about spreading privacy around the Internet. It might not be perfect, but any endeavor to promote privacy online is always a good thing.
However, there is one issue with DuckDuckGo that raises privacy concerns. Your search terms, while they may be sent over your network in an encrypted form, show up in plain text in your browsing history.
Even though DuckDuckGo doesn’t track your searches or link them to your personal information, this is a small, but important flaw when it comes to privacy. This means that anyone with access to your computer can view your searches in plain-text within your browsing history.
But you say, “I can always clear my browsing history to avoid this.” Yes… but for DuckDuckGo to say that they are a private search engine isn’t completely accurate in this respect.
Plus, DuckDuckGo says that they don’t track your information or store it, but they do send your advertisements for products you’re searching for.
How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money If They Don’t Share Your Information?
In two ways – with:
2. Affiliate Revenue
They don’t track you to make money. But when you type in a search, like car, they will show a car advertisement. This isn’t based on tracking you but on the keywords you use.
Daniel Davis of DuckDuckGo goes on to say:
“People often wonder about our revenue model and how we can sustain these awesome free products,” Davis says. “Thankfully we’ve been profitable since 2014, and this is predominantly from advertising, though based on individual search keywords rather than a personal profile or search history. For example, if you search for ‘car’, we might show a car-related ad, knowing nothing about you as an individual. In fact, since we do not collect any personal information, we do not even have the concept of search histories.”
Will DuckDuckGo Replace Google?
It’s not likely that DuckDuckGo will replace Google. Google has cemented itself in the search engine market as the leader. Google has acquired so much data about its users that it knows what will make them stick around and keep using their product.
Have questions about your privacy online? — Or what browser you should use for your business in Polk or Hillsborough County Florida? Alltek Services is here for you.