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Use Private Search Engines - Knowledgebase / Security / Browsers and Search Engines - OIT Service Center

Use Private Search Engines

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Most popular search engines -- such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo -- capture details about your online activities. While this might offer the advantage of teaching a search engine your preferences and offering search results tailored to you, it also provides the owners of the search engines with what might be very personal information that you might not want to share.

To prevent your searches from being datamined, consider switching to a search engine that doesn’t track you nor collect your personal information. Some private search engine options to explore include:

  • Brave - Offers cross-platform ability to browse as well as search privately along with other security features.
  • DuckDuckGo.com - Available as a private search engine as well as a privacy browser extension and app.
  • metaGer - An open source metasearch engine based in Germany, getting its search results from Bing, Yandex, Yahoo and others, as well as having its own web crawler. Has a browser plugin/extension.
  • mojeek - Based in the UK, this private search engine uses its own crawler to produce search results.
  • searX - Open source product that "is a metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing information about its users."
  • Startpage.com - A global privacy technology company offering their Privacy Protection (extensions for Chrome and Firefox), Private Search, and Anonymous View (Access and browse other websites without a trace). 
  • WolframAlpha - An anonymous search engine specially designed for answering queries in specific areas, such as science, literature, engineering, or geography.

It is recommended that if you install the browser extension of the private search engine of choice (for those with this functionality) to insure your private search engine is conveniently within reach.

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