Are Private Search Engines Really Private?: An Astonishing Answer Revealed
Data security secures a higher rank in today's world. After Facebook's blunders and failure to protect their users' data, it has become inevitable that securing our data is not that easy. While many hackers and malicious organizations heavily depend on the user data to earn the extra from it, users can still choose to move their browsing data to lockdown with the use of private search engines. But do they really protect us as per their claims? Let's find out.
Private Browsing and Private Search Engines: What's the Difference?
Before we begin to explore what actually private search engines do, it is crucial to bust the myth of private browsing and private search engines being the same. They both are not the same! In private browsing, the user data and browsing history are not stored on the local computer. Hence, many consider it a secure option. But is it? No, not really. There are many areas where private browsing and private search engines differentiate, and these areas directly influence user privacy and data security.
During 2019, the data breaches in the U.S. exposed 164.68 million sensitive records and caused a loss of millions. This poses a significant danger over the data of users, and there are multiple ways a hacker can threaten the user data security. But what is the primary reason?
User data is invaluable. In the era where artificial intelligence and machine learning concepts are practical and very useful in generating customer insights, the input data or dataset used for predictions is generated from the user data collected by various websites and mobile apps.
i.e., when users surf through these websites/apps, their likes, dislikes, and other useful information is stored and later used for predictions. But not all users agree with the use of their collected data. And hence, the need for private browsing arises.
Did you know search engines are the primary source of storing and generating user data? Search engines garner the user data from the search queries that users enter. This helps them understand the needs of users and helps provide better assistance every time a user returns to their website again. But the same data is shared with others as well to offer smart customer insights. And many don't like it.
Hence, the use of private search engines gets recommended as these search engines do not store or garner the user data. But are these search engines able to perform what they promise? Yes, majorly, they do. But private browsing is not something that these search engines relate to or use.
What Is Private Browsing?
Many of us prefer to use private browsing, thinking that it will stop the search engines from storing our data and save us from many other data breach dangers. But this is not true. A private browsing window in any browser does not store the browsing history of users and deliver the same experience. But the network providers are still able to view and store the user data and search history. Hence, it can not save your browsing data from getting leaked or used by other providers.
Private Search Engines: How do They Work?
Private search engines, on the other hand, are entirely different from private browsing. These search engines are famous for their non-tracking search facility, plus they do not store the search information of users as well. This assures users that their search data is safe in their hands.
In other words, they maintain user privacy. But not all private search engines are the same. Some may ask you to switch to their websites in the mobiles or PCs, and some can also introduce you to their extensions that can provide a personalized experience blocking all other third-party trackers. It helps secure the data from these trackers and maintains privacy
Do You like What You See?
Instead of following Google's behavioral advertising concept, private search engines like DuckDuckGo follow the idea of "contextual advertising". In essence, it doesn't allow the trackers to follow your searches or asks for location details. Instead, they consider using the keywords that are used in search terms to show relevant ads. Therefore, no tracking, no fuss, and no hassles of invading user privacy!
Is that it? No. These private search engines are genuine in one matter: giving the highest priority to user data and privacy. They certainly use your data but do not track you or trace you, unlike other search engines like Google. You can set them as your default search engine by adding their extensions to whatever browser you choose to use: Chrome, Firefox, or any other. Moreover, they also got delivery management software covered as these search engines can be accessed on mobile browsers too and deliver an excellent experience.
As every search engine now emphasizes accessing HTTP secure websites, i.e., HTTPS, private search engines like DuckDuckGo make it mandatory. They only redirect you to the encrypted version of a website, and if it is not available, the website will not open. P.S.: This encourages many website owners to switch to HTTPS else they won't be able to meet the user expectations as private search engines are saying a big "NO" to HTTP insecure websites. The time is ripe for updating to HTTPS and protecting your website as well as user data.
Should You Consider Using Private Search Engines Like DuckDuckGo?
Why not? They tick every checkbox that is listed under the user data privacy and security checklist. And if you are considered about the cookies and site data, privacy browsers do allow the first-party cookies to store your data. But simultaneously, they do not let the third-party trackers track you or your information. Amazing!
Are There Any Fees or Hidden Payment Requirements for Using These Search Engines?
If you want to search anonymously, there is only a single requirement and a constraint to fulfill. You must be able to operate the internet well and possess a basic understanding of how browsing and searching works!
No hidden fees or payment requirements are placed upon users when they use these private search engines. They are free to use anywhere and anytime. Not only it ensures your privacy but paves a way to a safe and secure internet-enabled world where users have the authority to decide what they want.
Private search engines might seem like a vicious trap or an untrustworthy source to many, but it is not true. Considering the priorities that you have set, you can choose to use any of the private search engine facilities available. Also, there are private browsers who claim to protect you from trackers and save your data, but only the recommended tools must be used.
If you have stumbled upon a great private browser or found yourself an excellent private search engine, you can now roam free and search without compromising your privacy. Have happy and safe browsing ahead!