Even just to remind the world there's life beyond Google and DuckDuckGo

Having rebelled against Google's web hegemony with a privacy-focused browser and a crypto token-based monetization system, Brave Software opened a second competitive front on Tuesday with the beta launch of Brave Search.

Brave has managed to attract more than 32 million monthly active users to its alternative browser that's similar to Google Chrome – is based on its open-source Chromium foundation – but is still distant enough on the privacy continuum to avoid being overshadowed.

"Brave Search is the industry’s most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to big tech,” said Brendan Eich, CEO, and co-founder of Brave, in a statement. 

"Unlike older search engines that track and profile users and newer search engines that are mostly a skin on older engines and don’t have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with a community-powered index, while guaranteeing privacy."

Brave Search isn't intended to replace Google Search, at least at this point, but it does represent an attempt to convince internet users that search can function well without surrendering data.

Eich is throwing down the gauntlet not just to Google, but also to the likes of DuckDuckGo, another company that's made headway against the search giant by promoting privacy.

DuckDuckGo says it uses some 400 different sources to inform its search index, though its reliance on Microsoft Bing became evident when the disappearance of a politically sensitive image in Redmond's product earlier this month was reflected in DuckDuckGo and other alternative search engines.

Brave Search uses on its own community-generated index, based on the Tailcat search engine acquired from unsuccessful Chrome-challenger Cliqz. But it also provides a way to make queries through Google, Bing, and other search services in the form of a "Find elsewhere" section below its homegrown search results list.

In its current form, Brave Search works pretty well. The Register has not had the opportunity to test it thoroughly but we found it returned useful results for most queries we tried.

In one case where we felt motivated to take our query elsewhere, the Brave Search results page's "Find elsewhere" link presented the following prompt seeking permission to submit the keywords to Google: "For queries where Brave Search is not yet refined, your browser will anonymously check Google for the same query, mix the results for you and send the query data back to us so we can improve Brave Search for everyone."

Brave presents its independent index as a point of differentiation with DuckDuckGo, though it may not be 100 percent independent. The company explains that it relies on anonymized contributions from its community to improve its search results.

"However, there are types of queries, as well as certain areas such as image search, for which our results are not relevant enough yet, and in those cases, we are using APIs until we are able to expand our index," the company said in its Brave Search announcement. "The Brave Search independence metric is a progress bar, and our goal is to achieve greater independence and better quality without compromising the privacy of our users."

Get paid for watching ads soon

And to distinguish itself from Google Search, Brave claims to provide privacy and anonymity when searching, and transparency in how its search results are ranked. Presently, Brave offers a Transparency Report, though the page does not yet provide a way to review its "community-curated open ranking models" [PDF], said to be coming soon.

In time, however, the distance between the two companies may dwindle – Brave isn't currently serving ads in its search results but the plan is to offer both ad-free paid search and free ad-supported search that will include private ads that share revenue with ad viewers via Brave Attention Tokens (BAT).

Asked how Brave intends to deal with efforts to manipulate its search results – a persistent issue for Google – Josep Pujol, chief of Search at Brave, told The Register in an email that abuse hasn't been a problem yet.

"But we do expect bad actors to try to alter rankings, from SEO game players to censors," he said. "We do have some tech in the pipeline based on prior work at Cliqz to prevent data pollution [PDF]. Also, it is worth noting that Brave is already solving this kind of problem effectively in the form of anti-fraud for our private ad ecosystem."

Pujol, however, did acknowledge that Brave has to deal with index pollution, just like everyone else.

"We try to have the cleanest index possible, where only Web content that people engage with is indexed," he said. "However, objectionable content is also present in our index, including child sexual abuse material. For such problematic content, we scrub at query-time via filters, and we are working hard to strengthen them."

At this point, it's still too early to tell how Brave Search will be received, but Pujol promised there will be queries per month (QPM) statistics added to Brave's transparency page in the future.

"Right now we are in the first day of public beta and in heavy building mode, but we were pleased to see over 100,000 people join our waitlist for the preview release and testing phase leading up to the beta," he said. ®

[Source: This article was published in theregister.com By Thomas Claburn - Uploaded by the Association Member: Grace Irwin]
Published in Search Engine

Same Energy is a new Web tool that’s perfect for photographers looking for visual inspiration. It’s an AI-powered visual search engine that provides a fast and simple experience for exploring visually similar photos.

The website was created by Canadian developer Jacob Jackson, who launched it into beta last week.

“We believe that image search should be visual, using only a minimum of words,” Jackson writes on the site. “And we believe it should integrate a rich visual understanding, capturing the artistic style and overall mood of an image, not just the objects in it. We hope Same Energy will help you discover new styles, and perhaps use them as inspiration.”

You can start by providing one or more keywords, uploading/dropping a photo, or by clicking one of the featured images on the homepage. Every time you click a photo in the grid on the screen, a new search is performed to identify visually similar photos, and the new results fill the screen within seconds.

Here are some examples of visually similar photographs:

results1

results2

results3

Here’s what you get if you search for “street photography” and then click through on one of the results:

street1

A search for “street photography” brings up photos related to the keywords.

street2

In addition to clicking any photo on the screen to perform a new search based on that photo, you can also right-click to view any photo at a larger size as well as bring up more info and options (name, source page, save, search, and hide).

Jackson says his search engine uses deep learning at its core and currently indexes 19 million images shared on Reddit, Instagram, and Pinterest.

“The principal advantage of our search is that it works without any tags or metadata: all we need is the image,” Jackson says. He’s considering selling API access to the visual search as a business model for Same Energy, but for now, the project remains free to use, ad-free, and unmonetized.

[Source: This article was published in petapixel.com By Michal Zhang - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]
Published 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]
Published in Search Engine

Microsoft Bing updates recipe results, similar-looking items, expandable carousels, infographic panels, and local answers design.

Microsoft announced several updates to Microsoft Bing Search that make the search experience more “visually immersive,” the company said. This update goes across many different search features including recipe results, image search’s similar looking items, expandable search result carousels, infographic knowledge panels, and the design of the local answer.

Let’s go through each update briefly below.

Infographic-like search panel experience

Microsoft launched these new knowledge panel designs that have very visually appealing. Microsoft said it’s goal is to “provide both style and substance” with this new look. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like, notice how the right panel, as well as other parts of the page, are very visually immersive.

bing search infographic panels

Local answers show more information

Now when you search in Microsoft Bing for the local answers you will get more information from Bing Maps, top images, visitor reviews, and more. It is not just a “single carousel of images or just a text summary of one aspect of what you’ve searched for,” Microsoft said. Here is a GIF of that in action: 

local-search-results-for-Microsoft-Bing-things-to-do-near-you.gif-1 search engine - AOFIRS

Expandable search carousels

Microsoft also added these expandable carousels where you will a carousel of answers that showcases just the results’ high-level information to avoid crowding the page. If you decide you want to learn more about a specific result, hover over it, and Microsoft Bing will then expand the result with more detailed information. 

hover-over-new-functionality-on-Bing-movies-carousel.gif-800x374 search engine - AOFIRS

Similar looking items image search feature

Within Microsoft Bing Image Search you can now click on an image and use the similar-looking item feature to highlight a part of that image to see more images that look similar to that portion of the image. Microsoft said “for example, in the “DIY coffee table” result, you may see wicker baskets that fit the table’s look and feel. With just a click, you’ll get image results of similar-looking items, and can directly click off to retailer sites to purchase a particular basket if you’re sold on it. “

Recipe results with more information

When you search for recipes, Microsoft will show you a list of recipes and let you expand to see more. In addition, the recipes experience will now let you see what it extracts from the page and then aggregates the content of the most relevant recipe and presents it in a single view on the search results page. This can show calories per serving and user reviews, plus expand to show you an ingredient list and possible substitutions for when you don’t have everything on hand, a drop-down menu for you to scale the recipe to a certain number of servings, and nutritional information. 

 [Source: This article was published in searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Rene Meyer]
Published in Search Engine

Google said this launched in November, so it seems Google is November but is just announcing this now.

Google announced on Twitter that in November 2020 it has released an update to Google Image Search that reduces duplicative images in the image search results: “We made an improvement to Image Search to reduce duplicate images so that we can display others that are relevant yet visually distinct.”

Visually distinct. Google has said the images it shows are now more visually distinct from each other, providing a more diverse set of relevant images for your query.

Here are some screenshots Google embedded to convey the differences:

Screenshot google

November 2020. Google said in its announcement that this went live in November 2020, “we hope this improvement, which we introduced in November, helps everyone better make use of Google Images to be inspired and informed as they search visually.”

If your site gets a lot of Google Image Search traffic, you may want to check back at your analytics to November time to see if there were any substantial changes to your image search traffic.

Alternate meanings. Google added that it made improvements to the images and categories it uses for alternate meanings of words. The obvious example Google presented was the jaguar, which can be the animal, sports team, car manufacturer or others.

Google previously added a menu at the top to let you filter based on those alternate meanings and better narrow down the search results to what you are looking for.

Here are the examples of this:

google search liason

Why we care. If your site depends on Google Images for traffic, you may have already noticed changes to your traffic back in November. Either way, this update is from a few months back and Google is now just announcing that it went live. Hopefully, you fared well with this update.

Google launched it in order to provide a better set of diverse images for searchers when they use Google Image Search.

[Source: This article was published in searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Paul L.]
Published in Search Engine

The Brave web browser has set out to become one of the best Chrome for desktop alternatives, and this latest move puts it in a pretty good position. Brave announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it has acquired the open-source search engine, Tailcat, and is integrating it into its privacy-focused web browser.

Brave web browser is coming after Google with its own privacy-based search

For those not familiar with Brave, it's an open-source web browser made using the Chromium source code. Because of this, it looks and feels like Google Chrome in many ways, although without many of its bells and whistles, while also claiming to be more battery efficient. The main difference, though, is that Brave is focused on privacy, something that Google often struggles with. Brave does not track its users for targeted ads and instead has partnered with various companies to serve "privacy-respecting" ads that can reward users by just watching.

Brave just pulled a fast one on Google Search

By purchasing Tailcat and turning it into Brave Search, users will have a fully-integrated solution for private browsing as an alternative to Google Search and Chrome. CEO and co-founder of Brave Software, Brendan Eich highlights the invasiveness of Big Tech as a motivation for launching a privacy-focused search engine:

Brave's mission is to put the user first, and integrating privacy-preserving search into our platform is a necessary step to ensure that user privacy is not plundered to fuel the surveillance economy.

The company maintains that because Brave Search is open source, it will remain independent so that improvements made to the platform are from anonymous contributors. It outlines in a paper how its ranking model will be built to avoid any bias with search results. Users will also have the option for an ad-supported or a paid, ad-free experience, and those that choose ads will not be targeted. Brave Search is aiming for full transparency with its users.

Brave points to the recent exodus of WhatsApp users to services like Signal as a sign that users are actively seeking more private alternatives for their apps and services. The company believes that this move makes it the right choice for users who are looking for an alternative to Google. It's even open to making its search engine available for other browsers.

Brave has open sign-ups to test its upcoming search engine, although there's no word on when it will be available.

[Source: This article was published in androidcentral.com By Derrek Lee - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]
Published 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]  

Published 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]
Published 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]
Published in Search Engine

We all probably did a lot more online shopping this year during the pandemic than ever before. After online shopping, you will notice that pop-up ads are constant, and continue to pop up even if you continue to “x” them out. Or you might check the weather, and find that the site you access knows exactly which town and state you are in.

That’s because of cookies and your browser. Here are some tips to minimize the use of your browsing history by third parties.

First, when you use a computer and Wi-Fi in a public place, your browsing history can be accessed and stored. Even if you are browsing using your own Wi-Fi, you can do it privately. All you have to do is go to the far right side of the browser toolbar, click on the three little dots and select private or incognito.

Next, you can delete your browsing history by going to those same little three dots and clicking on “More Tools;” when the menu comes down, click on “Clear browsing data.”

When visiting websites, be wary of any pop-up that asks you to click on “I agree.” Usually, it is asking you to agree to allow cookies. If it gives you an option to say “no,” say “no.” If a pop-up asks you if you want to delete cookies or “do-not-track,” say “yes.”

To restrict browsers from sending your location-based data, refuse to provide consent if asked when you visit a site.  Depending on the browser you use, you can go into “preference” in settings and choose the option of disallowing or asking for the request of location when you visit a site.

Use other browsers that have advanced privacy settings, such as DuckDuckGo.

To restrict Google from creating an ad profile on you, you may wish to consider downloading Google Analytic Browser Add-on so your tracking activity is restricted.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also track our online activities. To limit these platforms from tracking, go to “Settings” in each site, and click on the choices that allow you to limit targeted ads, tailor ads, or managing advertising preferences.

All websites track users. Controlling cookies and browsing history to limit this tracking will reduce the number of pop-up ads you receive, and the sharing of information about your browsing without your knowledge.

 [Source: This article was published in natlawreview.com  - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]
Published in Internet Privacy
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