Lesson 1.2 – Anonymous Search Engines
Imagine if every time you left the house, a stranger followed you. Imagine they noted down where you live, who you friends are, the places you shop and the things you buy.
Then imagine they shared that information with individuals you didn’t know, and in turn those individuals began stopping you in the street, offering you goods and services. After all, they know exactly what you like. You would probably find that kind of behaviour greatly disturbing.
In short order, you would most likely report this stranger to the authorities for invasion of privacy. Yet this is what we allow Google to do every single day.
Jones, Edward. “How to Hide From Google and Keep Your Stuff Private.” PC Advisor., 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 July 2014.
1) Stop using Google, Bing, Yahoo and anything else IMMEDIATELY. They collect, store and report data on you.
2) To ensure that you always use an approved search engine, you can make it your home page if you want. Not necessary, but helps you remember. Browsers are different, but it is usually found in the Options->General tab. While you’re at it, stop using Microsoft IE if you are. Go to Firefox or Palemoon. There are other choices here but that is for another lesson.
3) Here are 3 excellent privacy choices. They also offer advanced features like proxy integration and an integrated Tor Exit Enclave. Don’t worry about proxies and Tor Exits for now, we’ll cover them in a more advanced lesson later on.
- https://startpage.com (seems to be the same as ixquick.com)
4) Use https when possible (http secure). Again, that will be explained in another lesson, but since we’re here I figured I’d point that out. It basically creates a secure session from your browser to the web server. There are issues with https and how secure it is, but I’ll invoke Tenet #2 – Anything is better than nothing, and Tenet #3 – Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security in either technology or behavior. You are not bulletproof and neither is all tech.
5) Detailed Privacy Policies for these search engines. There is a lot of good, technical stuff here. We’ll cover it in detail in later lessons.
https://www.ixquick.com/eng/privacy-policy.html (same as Startpage).
6) Here is StartPage’s summarized version. Now stop using anything other than Ixquick, DDG or Startpage.
10 Ways StartPage Helps You Take Back Your Privacy
- StartPage doesn’t store your IP address, use tracking cookies, or make a record of your searches.
We do not keep any information about the people who search through StartPage or what they search for. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
- StartPage protects you from NSA surveillance and spying.
Your search session with StartPage is protected through powerful SSL encryption so no one – not hackers, not your ISP, not even the federal government – can eavesdrop on your searches. (Read more here)
- StartPage gives you 100% real Google results in complete privacy.
When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google for you. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy.
- StartPage is a Dutch company, so it is not under US jurisdiction.
Because our company is based in the Netherlands, US data collection programs like PRISM, the Patriot Act, FISA courts, etc. do not directly apply to us. We have never cooperated with spying programs like PRISM. (Plus we have no user data to begin with.)
- StartPage offers a free proxy with every search.
With our proxy, not only can you search privately, but you can view the pages you find through StartPage anonymously and in complete security. To learn more, please see our short overview video here.
- StartPage is third-party certified for privacy.
We not only promise our users total privacy, we back up those claims with rock-solid evidence, through stringent third-party auditing and certification. Here are details:
How can your privacy policies be verified? Can users trust StartPage to do what it says?
What auditing and review does your Europrise certification process involve?
- StartPage has been doing privacy longer than anyone else – since way before privacy was “cool”.
Our company was founded in 1999, and we’ve been focused on privacy since 2006. (We introduced the StartPage search engine in 2009.)
- When it comes to security, StartPage runs the tightest ship on the Internet.
We’ve been ahead of the privacy curve for years, and we consistently outscore other search engines on independent measures of security. We were the first search engine to offer default SSL encryption, and now we are the first private search engine to offer Perfect Forward Secrecy and the latest version of Transport Layer Security.
- StartPage breaks you free of the search engine “Filter Bubble”.
Major search engines now “personalize” or “pre-screen” the search results they serve you, based on what they know about you from past searches and other services you use. While some people love this, others see it as privacy-invading censorship. Regardless of your views, with StartPage, you get clean, anonymous, non-filtered results every time, because nobody knows who you are.
- By using StartPage, you send a powerful pro-privacy message in the marketplace.
Each time you use an online service, you cast a vote in support of the policies and practices of that service. By using StartPage, you are casting a powerful vote for a private Internet where people can access information anonymously without fear of government surveillance or reprisal.
LESSON ID=> 0003