What is the first thing you do every time you have a question? Google it! The search engine is so widely used that it has become a verb now. Googling something is a reflex for humans now, and we wouldn’t know what to do without it. How did people even find answers before search engines like Google and internet connections like the Spectrum internet were invented? Because Spectrum internet deals have no comparison. Whatever their method was, there was one thing they had that we don’t – privacy!
That’s right! A Google search is not as safe as you think. Every keyword you type in, and every link you click on is public data. So, Google uses user preferences to generate relevant ads for them. If you don’t want search engines like Google to have any information on you, here’s what can help.
Use Secure Search Engines
While Google is trying to limit its use of user data, there are other options for privacy freaks. A few search engines are much better at keeping your data encrypted and private.
DuckDuckGo Search has been around for a while now and focuses on one thing: your privacy. The search engine can allow you to search the web more securely. Moreover, it doesn’t log your preferences or searches. In other words, the minute you close the browser window, your data is gone forever. So, the next time you log on to DuckDuckGo, you are a brand-new user.
The search engine has a lot to offer in terms of services and features as well. You can refine your searches and pull data from sources like Apple Maps and Microsoft Bing. The search engine does have ads running on the sides, but they don’t target you.
#2: Brave Search
Brave is a newer option for people concerned with their privacy. It was previously a privacy-centric browser, but it has launched a search engine as well. It is still in the beta version, though, so you can expect some bugs. Although, it is right about its claims to making your web searches safer.
The web search works similar to that of DuckDuckGo as it also doesn’t log your searches. So, you don’t risk losing any data as the engine never stores it. The search engine does not support ads yet. Although, the company assures of non-targeted advertising in the future.
Make Google More Secure
Although other search engines can be safer, you may be more inclined to stick with Google. The powerhouse understands keywords like no other and could show more relevant results. Moreover, a Google account offers much more, and you can use it to log in on multiple websites. So, if you don’t want to shift to another search engine, you can make Google safer. Here are some things that you can do:
#1: Turn Sync Off on Google Chrome
Many people sync their Google Chrome browser with their Google account. To stop this from happening, open Google Chrome. Then, locate the round bubble right next to the three dots in the top right corner. After you click on it, choose the Turn Off Sync option. This way, Google won’t track your activity.
Moreover, if the sync is on, even DuckDuckGo and Brave aren’t fully secure. Google syncs your browser history with your account as well. So, turning this off is necessary no matter what search engine you are using. Another way to stop this is to shift to another browser.
#2: Use Incognito Mode
Almost all browsers have a Private or Incognito mode. In this mode, your browser won’t save your internet history. Whenever you open a private window, you are a first-time user. So, whatever searches you make on Google will not be stored in your browser history or account sync. Moreover, none of the accounts you sign in to will remain signed in after closing the window. With every new session, you have a clean slate.
#3: Auto-Delete your Web & App Activity
You can also make sure that Google doesn’t store your data for too long. Simply log in to your Google account and go to the account settings page. Then, follow these steps:
- Click on Data & Personalization.
- Go to Web & App Activity.
- Choose Manage Activity to remove specific searches from your history manually.
- Click on Auto-Delete to wipe off all data after Google has stored it for a certain time.
- While this may not be the most secure option out of all, it can allow you to keep using Google.