Two days ago, I stopped using Google’s search engine for searching the web and switched to a new contender, DuckDuckGo. The last time I changed search engine loyalty, Altavista was still relevant.

DuckDuckGo, as it turns out, provides very solid results, ad-free, and — most important — what you search for is not tracked and reported to third parties. It also has a great set of advanced search operators.

Of course, Privacy vs Convenience is the great uneven of technology. The more you want of one, the less you can get of the other. But DuckDuckGo’s quasi-infographic (below) reminded me that — despite Google’s best intentions — sometimes your private information gets out beyond its control.

If you’re using Chrome and want to switch easily to DuckDuckGo:

  1. Right-click the address bar (where it says
  2. Select Edit Search Engines…
  3. Find and select DuckDuckGo in the list and click Make Default.
  4. It should then move to the very top and say (Default) next to it. 


Here’s DuckDuckGo’s explanation of Google’s “privacy”:

When you search Google,
and click on a link,
your search term is sent to that site,
along with your browser & computer info,
which can often uniquely identify you.
That’s creepy, but who cares about some random site?
Those sites usually have third-party ads,
and those third-parties build profiles about you,
and that’s why those ads follow you everywhere.
That’s creepy too, but who cares about some herpes ads?
 Your profile can also be sold,
and potentially show up in unwanted places,
like insurance, credit & background checks.
But there’s more.
Remember your searches?
Google also saves them. 
Don’t believe it? Go view your history right now.
Your saved searches can be legally requested,
and then come back to bite you (it happens).
Or a bad Google employee could go snooping (happens).
Or Google could get hacked (happens).
That’s why DuckDuckGo doesn’t send your searches to other sites.
Or store any personal information at all.
That’s its privacy policy in a nutshell.
So don’t get tracked when searching.

Use DuckDuckGo instead.