5 ways to keep your online searches private
Google processes more than 40,000 searches every single second, according to InternetLiveStats.com. Did you know there are some things you shouldn’t look for? Tap or click for seven Google searches that could land you in serious trouble.
For your more embarrassing or private queries, you might think that you protect yourself completely in incognito mode, but that’s just too far. Tap or click here to see what’s really good for incognito mode and what it’s for not allowed do.
Let’s take a closer look at the privacy options available to you. This post is a must read for anyone in today’s digital age. So, be sure to share it on your social media accounts.
1. Find out what private windows do
In most browsers, select File > New Private Window or touch the three-dot menu near the search bar to open a new incognito or private window. This is where many people fall for the privacy myth.
Don’t make a mistake and think this privacy feature is blocking what you are looking for or sites you are visiting from your internet provider, work or school, or even a search engine. A private window only deletes local data such as your search history, cookies, and anything you enter on a form.
RANKING: Best browsers for privacy, from easy to use to customizable.
2. Stop searching with Google
If you don’t want to track, use an alternative to Google.
StartPage calls itself “the world’s most private search engine.” The Netherlands -based company pays Google for the use of its search algorithm but removes the tracking and advertising that usually accompanies it. You get a Google -like experience, with the promise that your data will never be stored, tracked, or sold.
Try it on startpage.com. You can also set StartPage as your browser’s default search engine.
DuckDuckGo is another option that doesn’t track you the way Google does. Targeted advertising is not allowed, results are not based on your search history, and you will see fewer ads based on your search.
Easy to use and also install, with an extension plugged into all major browsers. You can also search on duckduckgo.com.
You want more? Tap or click for more Google search alternatives that respect your privacy.
3. Clear your browsing history
Aside from being monitored by companies and your ISP, there are other reasons you don’t want people to see your browser history. Maybe you need to look for something private (and embarrassing) or don’t want to break a surprise. Clearing things takes a few clicks in your browser of choice.
There are steps to follow for each browser and even your social media accounts. Tap or click here for all the steps you need for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and more.
4. Hide yourself in a VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a layer of protection between your devices and the internet. It hides your IP address and your location, and it’s the most effective way to keep it private online.
Think of all you have to protect. The products you’re looking at, the medical conditions you’re looking for, the people you Google – it’s all gathered in the dossier about you.
A VPN sends your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, which effectively blocks your identity. Without one, you provide a ton of information on the sites you browse and the apps you use, including your ISP, your mobile carrier, and anyone else who sniffs.
A word of caution: Some VPNs monitor you or, worse, collect and sell your data like all the companies you’re trying to avoid. Many cheap or free VPNs make money by selling your data to ad companies, so do your research. I use and recommend ExpressVPN, a sponsor of my national radio show.
SAFETY 101: Is your router secure? Are you sure? Tap or click for a free check to see if your router has been hacked.
5. Use a privacy -focused browser
You can go one step further and download Tor Browser. You may know Tor as the browser used to access the Dark Web. That doesn’t mean it’s harmful in nature.
Wondering what’s on the Dark Web? Tap or click here for steps on how to access it as well as what you can find.
In Tor, your browser history and cookies are cleared after each browsing session. It also blocks restricted websites and encrypts each website three times before you visit it. You can download or learn more about Tor here if you’re interested.
If feeling that your privacy is hard to handle, well, you’re right. But you can take steps to secure yourself. With a little effort, you can keep Big Tech and advertisers out of your business.
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What are the questions in digital living? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click on it to see it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Commando Show on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.