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WHEN IT COMES to looking something up on the web, most of us default to Googling it—the search engine has become so dominant that it's now a verb, in the same way that Photoshop is. But using Google for your searches comes with a privacy trade-off.

Google's business is, of course, based on advertising, and every search you make feeds into the profile of you that it uses to target the ads you see around the web. While Google isn't telling marketing firms what searches you're running, it is using those queries to build up a picture of you that ads can be sold against.

While Google has made moves to limit this data collection—introducing tools for auto-deleting your web history after a certain time period, for example—you might want to switch to a different search provider that doesn't log your queries. And if you want to stick with Google, there are ways to limit the amount of data that gets recorded.

Brave Search

braveBrave isn't going to keep track of what you're looking for. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA BRAVE

Having previously been known for a privacy-focused browser, Brave has now launched its own search engine—albeit one that's labeled as a beta product, so expect the occasional bug and technical issue to appear. Even at this early stage, it's impressively comprehensive, and of course, you're trying it as much for its security and privacy as for the results you get.

Simply put, no logs of your queries are kept by the search engine. While that might make for a slightly less convenient user experience—Google might automatically know you're more interested in the Miami Dolphins than actual dolphins, for instance—it does mean that you can search without worrying that you're going to see any related advertising.

"It's impossible for us to share, sell, or lose your data because we don’t collect it in the first place," says Brave. While the service might eventually become ad-supported, those adverts won't know anything about you or what you've been looking for on the web, making it distinctly different from Google's offering.

You can access the Brave search engine from any web browser and any device (you don't have to use the Brave browser to use it). Getting around the interface is as simple and straightforward as you would expect: Simply type out your query, hit Enter, and wait for the results to show up. You can look for Images, News, or Videos as well as websites using the buttons at the top of the results page.

You'll also see drop-down menus above your search results that let you filter them by location and time. Depending on what keywords you've used, you might also see a Local results tab—this will temporarily make use of your IP address to find results from regional sites, but this IP address isn't saved. As soon as you close down the Brave search tab, everything is forgotten.

DuckDuckGo Search

duckduckgo searchDuckDuckGo is simple, secure, and private. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA DUCKDUCKGO
 

DuckDuckGo has been around for much longer than the Brave search engine, and so it has more in the way of features and options. Its focus is the same: to help you search the web privately, without your queries being registered. It pulls data from hundreds of different sources, including the Microsoft Bing search engine and Apple Maps.

As with the Brave search engine, your searches are never logged or recorded—every time you turn up at the DuckDuckGo portal, you're seen as a new user. You will notice advertising alongside the search results that you get through DuckDuckGo, but these ads aren't targeted, and the advertising networks behind them don't know anything about you.

"Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information," says DuckDuckGo, which also develops a browser extension and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You don't need to register an account with the service, and you won't find a history of your searches anywhere in DuckDuckGo, making it impossible for the company to monetize them. The portal is now handling about 80 million searches a day.

DuckDuckGo is very straightforward to use: Just type your query into the main search box and hit the Enter key to get started. For certain queries, like celebrity names or places that can be found on a map, you might see pop-out boxes alongside your main search results. For topical searches, a few recent news updates might be included too.

Along the top of the search results list, you'll see ways of filtering the matches that you're seeing. You can focus on Images, Videos, News, Maps, or Shopping for example, as well as set filters based on location or the time that a page was last updated. Use the Settings link on the right to change the appearance of the results page and to change various other DuckDuckGo options.

Limiting Google

google
You can break the connection between Google Chrome and your Google account. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA GOOGLE

It's worth bearing in mind that if you're using Google Chrome and you're signed into Google, you may well be syncing your DuckDuckGo or Brave searches back to your Google account. Your Google web history and your Chrome browsing history (if you're signed into Google) will match up most of the time because Google keeps them in sync by default, partly to make it easier to use Google across multiple devices.

To stop this from happening in Chrome, click the three dots in the top right-hand corner, then choose Settings. If you see that you're signed in to your Google account at the very top, click Turn off—this will break the connection between Google and your browser, and you'll be given the option to delete all the data that's stored locally on your device (including your browsing history, bookmarks, and stored passwords).

Perhaps an easier option is to simply switch to another browser altogether—as we've already mentioned, Brave has one. Other good cross-platform alternatives to Chrome are Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari from Apple—but whichever one you switch to, be sure to check out the settings for deleting your browsing history as you go. (All of these browsers have simple-to-use options for this.)

Whichever browser you decide to use, opening up a private or incognito window while you're searching will prevent those searches from being logged inside the browser—as soon as you close the window, the search is gone forever. Bear in mind that these modes don't necessarily stop online companies from tracking your queries though. (If you sign into your Google account while in private mode, Google will still be able to track you.)

If you can't bring yourself to be parted from the search results that Google serves up, you can at least make sure that they're not remembered for too long. Open up your Google account settings page on the web, then click Data & personalization and Web & App Activity: You can choose either Manage activity to remove history and searches manually, or select the Auto-delete option to have this data wiped automatically once it's been stored for a certain amount of time.

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By David Nield - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]

Categorized in How to

Google and Bing are not capable of searching for everything. These extremely deep search engines are required to explore the invisible web.

There are many areas on the internet that Google and Bing's web crawlers are unable to access, thus not everything on the internet will appear in a list of search results.

You'll need to use specialized search engines to explore the invisible web. Here are our top 12 search engines for conducting a comprehensive online search.

What is the Invisible Web, and How Does It Work?

Before we get started, let's clarify what the term "invisible web" means. Simply said, it is a phrase for internet information that doesn't show up in search results or web directories.

Although there is no official evidence, most experts agree that the invisible web is several times larger than the visible web. The numbers rapidly become mind-boggling when you consider that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook alone store almost 1,200 petabytes.

The deep web and the dark web are two categories of material on the invisible web.

The Internet's Deep Layer

The deep web is made up of content that requires some type of authentication to access. Library databases, email inboxes, personal records (financial, academic, health, and legal), cloud storage drives, workplace intranets, and so on are examples.

You can access the information using a conventional web browser if you have the necessary credentials.

The Internet's Dark Side

The deep web is divided into two sections: the dark web and the deep web. To see the information, you will need a dedicated dark web browser (such as Tor). Because it is more anonymous than the ordinary web, it is frequently used for criminal operations including drug and weapon sales. You'll need to use a specialized invisible web search engine to explore the invisible web.

The Best Deep Web Search Engines

1. Pipl

Pipl describes itself as the largest people search engine in the world. Pipl, unlike Google, can search searchable databases, member directories, court records, and other deep internet search information to provide you with a full portrait of a person. 

2. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is the Internet privacy company for everyone who's had enough of hidden online tracking. DuckDuckGo is also well-known for being a private search engine for the visible web, but did you know it also has an onion site where you can browse the dark web?

Google is not the only search engine that has deeper web material. It finds its results by combining the results of more than 500 independent search tools. You may do a full online search using the standard DuckDuckGo engine and the. onion version.

The onion site can be found at http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/.

3. The WWW Virtual Library

The WWW Virtual Library is the internet's earliest catalog. It was founded in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Volunteers manually build the link list, resulting in a high-quality index of deep web information in dozens of areas.

4. The Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web. It was founded by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit library based in San Francisco, California.

Regular search engines only provide results from the most up-to-date version of a website. The Wayback Machine, on the other hand, is unique. Its servers save copies of over 361 billion web pages, letting you search for content that is no longer viewable on the internet.

5. USA.gov

The amount of information available on USA.gov is astounding. It is a one-stop shop for all the public information you'll ever need about any federal agency, as well as state, local, and tribal governments.

You can also learn about government jobs, loans, grants, taxes, and more. Most of the content on the site will not be found on Google.

6. not Evil Dark Web

Check out notEvil Dark Web if you're seeking a dark web search engine. Because the site uses the. onion domain name, it cannot be accessed using a conventional web browser. Open a dark web browser like Tor and type hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion into the address bar to load it.

It has access to a database of over 32 million dark websites, implying that if it exists, this search engine will most likely discover it.

7. Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a deep internet search engine that indexes academic articles and provides access to them. The papers are free to anyone who wants them.

There are about 10,000 journals in the archive now, with 2.5 million articles covering a wide range of topics. Some of the information is accessible through Google Scholar, but we believe the DOAJ is a better research tool.

8. Wolfram Alpha

With Wolfram Alpha you get a computational web search engine, in other words, you can enjoy a deep web search engine that has a significant amount of data for you to take advantage of. The site has categories such as:

  • Mathematics
  • Step-by-step solutions
  • Words % Linguistics
  • Units and Measure
  • Chemistry
  • Date & Times
  • Art & Design
  • Music
  • Astronomy
  • Engineering
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Shopping
  • Earth Sciences and more!

Once you choose a topic, the site gives you so many options that you won´t know where to start. For example, let us say you choose Chemistry. In that category, you can either have the site give you chemical formulas, Chemical quantities, chemical solutions, functional groups, and the list keeps going.

9. Voice of the Shuttle

Voice of the Shuttle is a must-read for anyone interested in the humanities. Since its launch in 1994, the site has amassed one of the most amazing collections of vetted deep web content.

Over 70 pages of annotated links span topics ranging from architecture to philosophy.

10. Ahmia

Ahmia is the search engine for. onion domains on the Tor anonymity network. It is led by Juha Nurmi and is based in Finland. But there's a catch: it's one of the few dark web search engines that's also accessible on the public internet.

Of course, you won't be able to open any of the links or results unless you have the Tor browser installed on your computer. It is, however, a terrific way to get a taste of what is accessible on the dark web without exposing yourself to the risks that come with accessing it.

Except for these top ten Deep Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web, there are other Search engines available to Explore the Invisible Web.
Categorized in Deep Web

Can a privacy-focused search engine survive on today's Internet? It appears that it can, as DuckDuckGo is looking to end the year 2021 with another record-breaking traffic increase.

I have followed the rise of DuckDuckGo since 2012 when I announced here on this site that it became my primary search engine. I had plenty of reasons for that, but privacy was the main one.

Then came PRISM, and DuckDuckGo's traffic started to rise a lot. Back in 2013, traffic rose to more than 2 million queries per day, a small number for search engine heavyweight Google Search, but an important milestone for the DuckDuckGo search engine.

In 2015, DuckDuckGo reported that it crossed the 10 million daily searches mark, and this year (2021), it managed to cross the 100 million searches mark for the first time.

duckduckgo-growth.jpg

If you look at the reported traffic figures for 2019 and 2020, you get about 15 billion queries in 2019 and 23.6 billion in 2020.

Here is the year-by-year listing from 2015 to 2020.

  • 2015 -- 3.1 billion
  • 2016 -- 4.0 billion
  • 2017 -- 5.9 billion
  • 2018 -- 9.2 billion
  • 2019 -- 15.0 billion
  • 2020 --23.6 billion

Now, in 2021, it looks as if the search engine will report another record year. It is mid-June right now, and traffic is already at 16.0 billion queries. With six months to go, it is very likely that the 30 billion marks will be crossed in the year, and that traffic will likely end between 32-34 billion queries in the year.

The search engine announced plans today to accelerate the growth further. The company plans to release its first desktop application, which it states can be used as a primary browser. DuckDuckGo did not reveal any details on its new browser project. It is likely that it will be based on Chromium, but there is also a chance that Firefox might be its base. If the former is true, it will be interesting to see how it fares against other privacy browsers such as Brave or Vivaldi. Brave, on the other hand, is testing its own search engine that is focused on privacy.

Additionally, it wants to add "new privacy protections" to its portfolio of features and tools, including a "cross-platform email privacy solution" and "app tracker blocking on Android devices" later this year to provide even more privacy services to its users (and new ones).

DuckDuckGo has been profitable since 2014 and generates a revenue of over $100 million US Dollars now.

Now You: which search engine do you use predominantly? 

[Source: This article was published in ghacks.net By Martin Brinkmann - Uploaded by the Association Member: Anthony Frank]
Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo has launched a new browser extension for Chrome that will prevent FLoC, a new tracking technique used by Google to support web advertising without identifying users.

Privacy browser DuckDuckGo has launched a new extension for Chrome that's designed to block Google's new algorithm for tracking users' browsing activity for ad selection.

DuckDuckGo's new browser extension blocks FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which Google introduced to users in March as a replacement for third-party cookies that track individuals across the web.

FLoC is proposed as a method for offering greater anonymity for users by concealing their browsing activity within a group (or 'cohort') of other anonymized users with similar browsing habits. In doing so, advertisers can offer up relevant ads to cohorts of several thousands of users with similar interests, while the identity of individual users remains hidden.

But some see problems with this proposal. While the idea of 'hiding' individuals within a group sounds like better news for user privacy, websites can still target users with ads based on their assigned 'FloC ID', which essentially offers up a summary of interests and demographic information based on a user's browsing habits. What's more, websites can theoretically still track individuals, owing to the fact that every time you visit a website, it records your IP address.

This is where DuckDuckGo's new tool comes in. Currently, FLoC is only being used within Google Chrome, and while it has not yet been rolled out en masse, Google has announced plans to begin trialing FLoC-based cohorts with advertisers starting in Q2.

The FLoC-blocking feature is included in version 2021.4.8 and newer of the DuckDuckGo extension. DuckDuckGo Search is now also configured to opt out of FLoC.

"We're disappointed that, despite the many publicly voiced concerns with FLoC that have not yet been addressed, Google is already forcing FLoC upon users without explicitly asking them to opt-in," DuckDuckGo said in a blog post.

"We're nevertheless committed and will continue to do our part to deliver on our vision of raising the standard of trust online."

Google's Privacy Sandbox

Google has been working on a replacement for third-party cookies for some time. As detailed in a post on its Chromium Blog in January this year, FLoCs are one of a handful of methods the search giant is looking at as part of its 'Privacy Sandbox' for the web.

The company has claimed that FLoC algorithms are at least 95% as effective as cookie-based advertising when it comes to helping advertisers target users, which it says is "great news for users, publishers, and advertisers".

Chetna Bindra, Google's Group Product Manager for User Trust and Privacy, suggested in a blog post in January that tools like FLoC and other privacy-preserving methods proposed as part of Google's Privacy Sandbox would enhance fraud protection and prevent 'fingerprinting', whereby data from a user's browser is gathered to create a profile.

Bindra labeled FLoC a "privacy-first alternative to third-party cookies" that "effectively hides individuals 'in the crowd' and uses on-device processing to keep a person's web history private on the browser."

Yet others have pointed out that FLoC doesn't eliminate the threat of fingerprinting entirely. As well as the possibility of websites identifying users through a combination of their cohort ID and IP address, cohort IDs will also be accessible by any third-party trackers within the websites that users visit.

Google has said that it will work to ensure that "sensitive interest categories" like religion, identity, sexual interests, race, and medical or personal issues can't be used to target ads to users or to promote advertisers' products or services.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights group, argues that these precautions don't go far enough. "The proposal rests on the assumption that people in 'sensitive categories' will visit specific 'sensitive' websites, and that people who aren't in those groups will not visit said sites," it said in a blog post.

"But behavior correlates with demographics in unintuitive ways. It's highly likely that certain demographics are going to visit a different subset of the web than other demographics are, and that such behavior will not be captured by Google's 'sensitive sites' framing," the EFF added.

There are other methods for blocking FLoC, as laid out by DuckDuckGo. Unsurprisingly, the main one involves bypassing Google Chrome entirely – bear in mind, of course, that DuckDuckGo has its own competing browser in the game.

Users can also remain logged out of their Google account; switch off ad personalization within the Google Ad Settings; avoid syncing their search history data with Chrome; and disable Web & App Activity within Google's Activity Controls.

Google plans to roll out updated activity controls with the incoming Chrome 90 release.

[Source: This article was published in techrepublic.com By Owen Hughes - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Search Engine

GOOGLE’S GRIP ON the web has never been stronger. Its Chrome web browser has almost 70 percent of the market and its search engine a whopping 92 percent share. That’s a lot of data—and advertising revenue—for one of the world’s most powerful companies.

But Google’s dominance is being challenged. Regulators are questioning its monopoly position and claim the company has used anticompetitive tactics to strengthen its dominance. At the same time, a new wave of Google rivals hopes to capitalize on the greater public desire for online privacy.

Two years after publicly launching a privacy-focused browser, Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business too. The announcement of Brave Search puts the upstart in the rare position of taking on both Google’s browser and search dominance.

Eich says that Brave Search, which has opened a waitlist and will launch in the first half of this year, won’t track or profile people who use it. “Brave already has a default anonymous user model with no data collection at all,” he says adding this will continue in its search engine. No IP addresses will be collected and the company is exploring how it can create both a paid, ad-free search engine and one that comes with ads.

But building a search engine isn’t straightforward. It takes a lot of time and, more importantly, money. Google’s search algorithms have spent decades crawling the web, building up anindex of hundreds of billions of sites and ranking them in search results.

The depth of Google’s indexing has helped secure its market-leading position. Globally its nearest rival is Microsoft’s Bing, which has just 2.7 percent of the market. Bing’s own index of the web also helps to provide results in other Google rivals, such as DuckDuckGo which uses it as one of 400 sources that feed into search results.

Eich says Brave isn’t starting its search engine or index from scratch and won’t be using indexes from Bing or other tech firms. Instead Brave has purchased Tailcat, an offshoot of German search engine Cliqz, which was owned by Hubert Burda Media and closed down last year. The purchase includes an index of the web that’s been created by Tailcat and the technology that powers it. Eich says that some users will be given the ability to opt-in to anonymous data collection to help fine-tune search results.

“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich says. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it's getting bigger.” He admits that the index will not be anywhere near as deep as Google’s but that the top results it surfaces are largely the same.

“It's the web that the users care about,” says Eich. “You don't have to crawl the entire web in quasi-real-time as Google does.”

The Brave Search team are also working on filters, called Goggles, that will allow people to create a series of sources where search results are pulled from. People could, for example, use filters to only show product reviews that don’t contain affiliate links. A filter could also be set to only display results from independent media outlets.

And Google might soon have even more competition. There have been unconfirmed reports that Apple is building its own search engine, although this could see it lose billions of dollars that Google pays it to be the default search choice on its Safari browser. Further competition comes from Neeva, built by former Google engineers who plan to use a search subscription model; You.com, which is in an early testing phase; and British startup Mojeek, which has crawled more than three billion webpages using its own crawler tech.

It remains to be seen how much of a dent any of these rivals can make in Google’s dominance—or if they actually need to if they’re going to succeed. Google’s rivals can be successful in local markets and make profits on a much smaller scale. Search engine Seznam has an 11 percent market share in its native Czechia, while Russia’s Yandex has 45 percent of its local market share. DuckDuckGo, which has most of its users in the US and Europe, has made a profit since 2014 and passed 100 million daily searches for the first time in January.

The closure of Cliqz offers some important lessons. When it shuttered in April 2020, the company said that despite having hundreds of thousands of users it couldn’t cover its own costs. In the search business, some scale matters. “The world needs a private search engine that is not just using Bing or Google in the backend,” Cliqz said when it announced its closure.

Brave has one advantage when it comes to people who might use Brave Search: its web browser. The company says the browser, which launched in 2019, already has 25 million monthly active users— in the future they may all be potential search users too. However, Eich says Brave Search won’t be forced upon people as a default, to begin with.“We will have it as an alternative not as a default because we'll still feel like there's more work to do,” he says. “As it gets good enough, I think we will try to make it the default engine in Brave.”

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By Elena Lacey - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]
Categorized in Search Engine

In the technology world, one of the major talking points centers on the challenges regarding consumer data privacy. There is no coherent approach, however, and many people have strong, and differing, opinions about privacy.
The consumer privacy debate pervades most things businesses and consumers do (even if many consumers are unaware). Taking 2021, this is seen with Apple's new strong stance on data privacy and how it’s impacting advertising, with the California Consumer Protection Act, and how Internet cookies are being phased out, people.

Many people remain unclear as to what they can do to ensure their data stays private. To gain some tips on what can be considered, Digital Journal caught up with Don Vaughn, Invisibly’s Head of Product.

Vaughn provides Digital Journal readers with the following suggestions for consumers that want to keep their data private.

Get a virtual private network (VPN)

A virtual private network provides a strong degree of privacy, anonymity, and security for people by creating a private network connection. Vaughn recommends: "People and companies can spy on what websites you’re visiting, where you are located, and your computer’s identification number. You can stop them by using a virtual private network) which protects your information and makes it look like you’re browsing using a computer somewhere else. "

Use a private search engine

Vaughn points out: "Google makes money by tracking you, collecting as much information as possible on you, and then sells your attention using adverts based on that." Instead a private search engine and be used, and Vaughn recommends using DuckDuckGo."
With such systems, there is very little risk that your searches will be leaked to anyone because most private search engines do not track any information that can link a user to their search terms.

Tune-up your privacy settings

Looking at this often neglected area, Vaughn proposes: "We leave a data trail about us every time we use social media. Most companies let us choose what should or should not be shared and others even let us choose what data should be deleted." To counter this, it is important that users manage their privacy settings for each social media site they use.

Have a Backup ”Public” Email or Unsubscribe From Unwanted Emails

Vaughn's communications tip runs: "When you provide your email address to a company, many times you end up being bombarded with marketing emails and spam. While many services offer an opt-out checkbox for marketing emails, it's easy to forget to do this every time we enter our email online." It is important to unsubscribe from these services.
Expanding upon this, Vaughn notes: "If you use a bulk unsubscribe email service, make sure you are using a safe service. Some free services could collect and sell your data. If you are willing to pay for such a service, as an example, Clean Email is safe and does not sell their user’s data."
Check Permissions
Vaughn's final tip goes: "Most apps and browser extensions have a list of permissions that you sign off on when you start using that service. Sometimes, permissions are required for a service to work. By double-checking the permissions an app has access to, you could be stopping an app from accessing certain data it doesn’t have to access."

[Source: This article was published in digitaljournal.com By Tim Sandle - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]  

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Sometime in late 2019, I became increasingly more concerned with personal privacy. I’ve never been the type of person to lean into sharing details with companies when I didn’t need to, but I became aware of the ways I was “leaking” data to companies. One of the easiest things I did to help curtail some of the data I was sharing was changing my default web search to DuckDuckGo, and after a year of using it, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on it.

Table of contents

  • Google is better, but I still use DuckDuckGo
  • DuckDuckGo is using Bing results with extra data added
  • Changing your default is easy
  • Google isn’t selling your data
  • Should Apple buy DuckDuckGo?
  • Wrap up on DuckDuckGo as my default search

Google is better, but I still use DuckDuckGo

One of the opinions I’ve heard from others about switching to DuckDuckGo is that they believe Google provides better search results. I agree with them, but that hasn’t changed my opinion. Google is the best search engine globally, and there is no changing that fact. Just because it’s the best doesn’t mean it’s good to use. Facebook is the best way to stay connected to people, but I still don’t want to use it.

If you want the best search results, then use Google. If you want excellent search results that aren’t used to target you with better ads, use DuckDuckGo. For me, I’ve decided that protecting my privacy is a worthy trade-off for slightly worse search results. I still generally find what I am looking for when searching.

DuckDuckGo is using Bing results with extra data added

DuckDuckGo isn’t crawling the web in the same way that Google crawls it. Yes, they do have some crawlers, but they use a host of data they pull together in such a way where you aren’t tracked by it. Some of the search results are pulled in from Bing, while others are populated from Apple Maps, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, etc. It’s estimated that they use over 400 sources in total to populate their data. I personally like this approach of sourcing data from multiple places in order to provide better results.

I particularly like the integration with Apple Maps on iPhone as I can quickly search for a place and then launch the directions in Apple Maps. Google Search obviously integrates with Google Maps, and that’s yet another service I’ve chosen not to use.

Although DuckDuckGo has sponsored search results, they aren’t based on targeted data they know about you. On top of that, Google’s search results have, in my use, started showing increasingly more ads above the organic results, so it’s become even harder to use. DuckDuckGo lets me quickly find what I need.

Changing your default is easy

While Apple still ships Google as the default browser search engine, it’s straightforward to switch to DuckDuckGo as your default. On the Mac, there is a tab in your preferences for default search in Safari.

Changing your default is easy

On iOS, go to Setting > Safari > Search Engine, and you’ll see the option to switch to DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo 1

Now, all of your Safari searches will be routed through DDG instead of Google. I have the DuckDuckGo homepage set as my default homepage on the Mac as it loads super fast with only a search window.

Google isn’t selling your data

A common misconception with Google (and Facebook) is that they collect all of this information and then “sell” it to other companies. The truth is your data is so valuable that they want to be the only ones that have it. They sell access to your data by letting companies advertise to use in a targeted way based on the data Google and Facebook knows about you. For some people, that’s a fair trade. They love Facebook and Google’s services enough that they’re willing to trade that data for access to free services.

I was willing to do that for a long time, but today, I am not. I’ve personally been off of Facebook since 2009 and Instagram from 2016. I use iCloud for my personal email. I’ve started using ‘Sign in with Apple’ whenever possible when signing up for new services. When I am on Wi-Fi networks that I don’t manage, I use a VPN service to protect my privacy. I want to use services that aren’t interesting in knowing who I am in order to better target me with ads.

Should Apple buy DuckDuckGo?

I’ve seen this comment floated around the tech community for years, and while it’s an excellent idea, I don’t think it’s needed. DuckDuckGo’s mission aligns nicely with Apple’s mission of protecting personal privacy. Apple should be making more aggressive moves to teach its users about your search history, though.

Apple’s problem is they make billions each year from Google from being the default search provider. I don’t think Apple should change the default, not for privacy reasons, but from a user experience reason. If Apple set DDG as the default search provider in iOS 15, it would create chaos for Apple Support as people would be confused about what was happening. What Apple should do is when Safari is launched for the first time, asking users which search engine they want to use. Under the icon for DDG, there should be a mention that they don’t track you, store identifiable information, etc. Doing this would undoubtedly cause many people to switch, but they would be choosing to change so they’d understand the experience.

Wrap up on DuckDuckGo as my default search

I didn’t think to write this article until recently as I’ve become so used to having DuckDuckGo as my provider that it stopped seeming different. In my head, I replaced one search engine for another. In reality, I traded a search engine that wants to know more about me to one that actively works to avoid knowing anything about me.

The older I get, the more I turn into Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec in terms of privacy. The right to privacy is something I place more importance on as the years go by. The more we rely on technology to power our lives, the easier it is for companies to think they have the right to know as much about us as possible. Changing your default search engine to DuckDuckGo is an easy first step to taking back your privacy. Give it a shot for 30 days to see how easy is it to take back a small part of your privacy.

 [Source: This article was published in 9to5mac.com By Bradley Chambers - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]
Categorized in Search Engine

Privacy-first search engine DuckDuckGo's year was productive in 2020. The search engine managed to increase daily search queries significantly in 2020 and 2021 is already looking to become another record year as the search engine broke the 100 million search queries mark on a single day for the first time on January 11, 2021.

Looking back at 2019, the search engine recorded over 15 billion search queries in that year. In 2020, the number of queries rose to more than 23 billion search queries. These two years alone make up the queries for more than one-third of the company's entire existence, and the company was founded in 2008. In 2015 for example, DuckDuckGo managed to cross the 12 million queries per day mark for the first time.

In 2020, DuckDuckGo's daily average searches increased by 62%.

DuckDuckGo received more than 100 million search queries in January 2021 for the first time. The first week of the year saw growth from less than 80 million queries to stable mid-80 million queries, and the past week saw that number jump to mid-90 million queries, with the record-breaking day on Monday last week.

Queries have gone down under 100 million again in the past days -- DuckDuckGo does not display data for the past couple of days -- and it is possible that numbers will remain under 100 million for a time.

One of the search engine's main focuses is privacy. It promises that searches are anonymous and that no records of user activity are kept; major search engines like Google track users to increase money from advertising.

DuckDuckGo does benefit whenever privacy is discussed in the news, and it is quite possible that the Facebook-WhatsApp data-sharing change was the main driver for the rise in the search engine's number of queries.

DuckDuckGo's search market share has risen to 1.94% in the United States according to Statcounter. Google is still leading with 89.19% of all searches, followed by Bing and Yahoo following respectively with 5.86% and 2.64% of all searches.

Statcounter data is not 100% accurate as it is based on tracking code that is installed on over 2 million sites globally.

Closing Words

DuckDuckGo's traffic is rising year over year, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. If the trend continues, it could eventually surpass Yahoo and then Bing in the United States to become the second most used search engine in the country.

Privacy concerns and scandals will happen in 2020 -- they have happened every year -- and each will contribute its share to the continued rise of DuckDuckGo's market share.

Now You: do you use DuckDuckGo? What is your take on this development? (via Bleeping Computer)

[Source: This article was published in ghacks.net By Martin Brinkmann - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]
Categorized in Search Engine

All web browsers include a default search engine and a set of search engines that is supported by default. You search when you type anything in the address bar that is not an address and will always use the default search engine for that.

Browsers include options to change the default search engine so that another one is used whenever you type in the address bar, but what if you want to use different search engines based on your queries? You could open the homepages of non-default search engines and start searches from there, but there is an easier option, and it is included in all Chromium-based web browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Opera, or Brave.

All of these browsers support the ancient keywords feature. Basically, what it does is associate a shortcut with a search engine URL to run searches using that shortcut.

Some browsers map single-letter shortcuts to search engines e.g. Vivaldi does that.  Using Vivaldi, you can use the sequence B-Key, then Tab-key, to run searches using Bing, or D-Key then Tab-key, to use DuckDuckGo.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave support keywords as well, but the companies have set the keywords to the domain name. That's a nuisance, as you need to type Bing.com then Tab-key to run a search from Bing, or ecosia.org then Tab-key to use that search engine.

chrome keywords search

Users who would like to make use of the keywords feature in Chromium-based browsers may run into the following two primary issues:

  1. How to add search engines that are not integrated with the web browser by default.
  2. How to make sure that "sane" keywords are linked to search engines to speed up the process.

Adding search engines to Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers

chrome search engines

Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers pick up search engines automatically. The best option is to visit the search engine's homepage, e.g. Startpage, and run a single search. It should be added to the browser's selection of search engines automatically at that point.

Load chrome://settings/search engines (note that the address may be different depending on the browser) to verify that the search engine is available. You may use the search on the page to find a search engine quickly if lots are listed on the page.

To get to the page manually, select Menu > Settings > Manage Search Engines (or Search Engines).

Customizing keyword shortcuts for search engines

edit-search-engine-chrome.png

The browser lists the keywords on the search engine management page. You change them with a click on the three dots that are displayed at the rightmost location of the search engine's line on the page and selecting "Edit" from the menu that opens.

change-keyword.png

You may then change the keyword (and other parameters). The new keyword is displayed directly in the listing, and you may use it directly in the address bar without a restart.

Just type the new keyword followed by a tap on the Tab-key, a search term, and Enter-key to run a search using the associated search engine.

Now You: do you use keywords in your browser? (via Deskmodder)

 [Source: This article was published in ghacks.net By Martin Brinkmann - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila] 
Categorized in Search Engine

The European Union and the United States want to introduce tighter rules for tech giants like Google. Search engine rivals are ready to step up as efforts are made to create a fairer competitive environment.

Is it right that one company should dominate the internet the way Google does? One person who feels things should be different is Gabriel Weinberg, the 41-year-old CEO of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that claims to protect the user's private sphere and not collect huge amounts of personal data like Google.

Under fair conditions, "Google's market share would immediately drop by 20 percentage points," Weinberg told DW. He says that his powerful competitor has, for example, making it unnecessarily difficult to use other search engines on Android smartphones. "In fact, it takes 15 different clicks to make DuckDuckGo the default on Android devices," he says.

Weinberg is of the view that everyone should be able to decide more easily which search engine they use. "We're asking to be on the same level playing field," he says, and not for any special concessions.

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Markus Beckedahl is an internet activist and journalist

For some time now, Weinberg has not been alone with his demands in the US. Politicians are coming over to his side. Criticism of the market power possessed by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple is no longer muted background noise, but rather a siren of protest. Several US states have sued Google and accused its parent company, Alphabet, of using unfair practices to defend its monopoly on online searches and advertising. Facebook is also facing litigation.

EU plans tough measures

While such legal action has been taken in a somewhat piecemeal fashion in the US, the European Union is planning large-scale measures that will revamp the digital world. The European Commission wants to ensure fair competition with a digital services law and a digital market law. Those who violate the intended legislation could face penalties of up to 6% of their annual global revenue.

Partly in view of the severe penalties, internet activist Markus Beckedahl is sure that "the biggest lobbying battle of the digital world" is about to start. Beckedahl has been observing the behavior of tech giants for nearly 20 years at netzpolitik.org. He says that after such a long period of lax regulation, authorities must now set up a regulatory framework that prevents the big corporations "from extending their power further from their dominant market position."

Asymmetries of power

According to the proposal by the European Commission, platforms will no longer be allowed to prioritize their own content and products over those of other providers. They will have to make their advertising and their recommendation algorithms more transparent so that is possible to trace what is shown to whom when. The EU is even considering breaking up corporations if they don't stick to the EU rules.

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The market share of total US digital ad spending

One effective weapon could also be so-called interoperability. This means that big corporations would have to open up their systems. For example, a WhatsApp message could also be sent to Telegram. "This could lead to more competition on the messenger service market," Beckedahl told DW.

Researchers and authorities are also to be given better access to data from Amazon, Google, and Co. "At the moment, there is a huge asymmetry of power. Platforms have all this data; their research departments can access it in real-time, while regulatory authorities stand there helplessly," Beckedahl said.

But the Commission's initiative is coming almost too late. In addition to commanding the search engine market, Google is also the market leader for user-generated videos via YouTube. Amazon is building up its dominance in the cloud sector (AWS — Amazon Web Services) alongside its mail-order business. And Facebook is dominating social networks with its own platform and Instagram, as well as the messenger market with WhatsApp.

Gabriel Weinberg from DuckDuckGo is also watching developments in Europe. His company is one of the founding members of Global Privacy Control, an alliance that works on protecting private data. He has been working on his search engine for almost 13 years and now has 150 people working with him.

He feels the collection of personal data is "at the center of most of the things that are wrong with the internet." Although his search engine also earns money with advertising, the adverts that are shown are based on the search context, not the user profile as with Google, he says. Weinberg believes that this also improves the quality of the search results and that his company wants all results to be the same everywhere in the world and not to be dependent on personal user data.

Weinberg says that his search engine currently receives 2 billion requests per month and is growing fast, but the market share for DuckDuckGo searches is still minuscule compared with its competitors. DuckDuckGo's market share could be more like 10% if it were made easier to make it the default on devices, he says.

From Europe to the US?

Markus Beckedahl from netzpolitik.org says that the US government is still not interested in taking tough action on its tech giants. "Those are the companies they use to dominate the world," he says. However, he feels that stricter regulation in the EU could become a model and increase the calls for comparable measures in the US. He cites the example of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. "Europe set digital standards here," he says.

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DuckDuckGo's CEO says if his company were to be taken over, it wouldn't be by Google

But he believes that regulation alone will not automatically improve everything — and that consumer action is necessary. "With every click, with every search request, Google gets better," he says.

Weinberg hopes that competition will become fairer. He is already seeing interest in greater protection for the private sphere. And there have even been occasional rumors of takeover bids for his search engine. He declines to comment on them. But he does say that if a takeover did occur, it would certainly not be by Google.

 [Source: This article was published in dw.com By Barry McMahon - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson]
Categorized in Search Engine
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