Internet privacy tip: Use DuckDuckGo

cycliss

Sparrow
If you don't know much about computers or data mining, you would probably be shocked at how much Google knows about you. Consider that whenever you are logged into your google account, whether that be gmail/reader/g-toolbar/Youtube/Chrome etc. everything that you do online is recorded and stored. Even if you aren't logged in, Google still collects, saves and stores all your searches by IP address.

Think about the fact that Google has saved everything you have ever done w/relation to Google products and aggregated them based on your account or IP. For most of you, this probably is getting close to 10 years of activity. If you ever study data mining, you will see how easy it is for people in analytics to piece together who you are and what you are like even if they don't have explicitly identifying information like a name.

Even if Google is a pretty benign "Do no Evil" company right now, you can't rely on the fact that they will be 20 years in the future as corporate pressure forces them to bow more and more to shareholder profits. Yahoo was a pretty cool company as well when it started 15 years ago; now they are notorious for caving in at the first sign of any legal pressure because they want business. The most notorious case was when they gave up the email accounts and search history of several Chinese human rights and corruption journalists to the Chinese Communist Party; these guys got sentenced for "incitement to subvert state power" and recieved 10 years in prison. If Kimdotcom or Julian Assange used something like Yahoo, they'd be a lot more fucked than they are now.

duckduckgo.com is a search engine that was built from the ground up with privacy in mind; the quality of results is pretty good. Google search is awesome, but most of the time you don't need an engine that good unless you are looking for something very specific. I'd suggest setting duckduckgo as your homepage to get into the habit of using it. If you are looking for something specific/obscure and don't get the results you want from duckduckgo, just append your search with "!g" (ex. !g asian midgit threesomes in vegas) and you will automatically get google search results instead.

hxxp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_Duck_Go

hxxp://duckduckgo.com/

hxxp://dontbubble.us/
 

Basil Ransom

Crow
Gold Member
Just set this as my default search engine. Instructions (not mine):

"go to DuckDuckGo.com, right click in the search box, select the option ‘Add as search engine’ and click on the OK button of the next confirmation box. This adds DuckDuckGo to the Chrome. Now, we need to make it the default search engine. For this: Right click in the omnibox (the address bar of Chrome), select the option “Edit search engines”, click on the “Make default” option in the front of DuckDuckGo under the “Other search engines” listing.

Setting DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome allows you to search directly from the omnibox, as shown in the above video."

http://browserfame.com/1532/duckduckgo-default-search-engine-chrome
 

runsonmagic

Ostrich
Duckduckgo isn't just better on privacy, it's better on function.

Type a letter and an exclamation point and you're taken to the search results for other sites.

yt! = searches youtube
a! = searches amazon
g! = searches google

You can search google from duckduckgo - and it's an encrypted search through their site, rather than your ip. There is truly no reason to use google anymore.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
runsonmagic said:
Duckduckgo isn't just better on privacy, it's better on function.

Type a letter and an exclamation point and you're taken to the search results for other sites.

yt! = searches youtube
a! = searches amazon
g! = searches google

You can search google from duckduckgo - and it's an encrypted search through their site, rather than your ip. There is truly no reason to use google anymore.

This is key. Duckduckgo's searches are less powerful than Google's, so g! is necessary.
 

BoiBoi

Pelican
runsonmagic said:
Duckduckgo isn't just better on privacy, it's better on function.

Type a letter and an exclamation point and you're taken to the search results for other sites.

yt! = searches youtube
a! = searches amazon
g! = searches google

You can search google from duckduckgo - and it's an encrypted search through their site, rather than your ip. There is truly no reason to use google anymore.

Is there a way to set the "g!" as a default in every search so that you don't have to type it every time?
 
I've used this as my default search engine for a while. I'm pretty deep into the online privacy space.

A good app to use is Ghostery if you want to eliminate most of the trackers that stalk you around the interwebz.
 

Rigsby

Pelican
Gold Member
This is my main search engine of choice:

Try https://ixquick.com/

=========================================
Click here to learn the top 10 ways Ixquick protects your privacy.
=========================================

If you read Tech sites such as The Register, it is often and highly recommended. I use DDG sometimes too, but I find that Ixquick gives better results. Between the two of them though, you should be able to find what you are looking for.

Also, someone mentioned Ghostery. This is pretty much essential for blocking trackers. It is free and very easy to set up. It blocks sites that would link ads or track you or implant malware into your browsing session. Be warned though, it blocks Disqus, so you might not be able to post or see the comments at RoK for example. But it is easy to unblock by just clicking on its icon and unblocking what you want.

There is even a plugin that takes care of all that for you by unblocking the most common things that Ghostery blocks, that it doesn't really need to, and are just an annoyance. I forget the name of it now, coz I do all my blocking/unblocking 'by hand', but see this thread for more info: http://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/comments/1i04rv/is_there_a_way_to_use_ghostery_and_disqus/

And if you are going to go to all this trouble, and so you should in my opinion, then you will not want to be without AdBlock Plus. Just make sure that you set it so that scripts are not allowed 'Globally', in other words 'free for all'. It will automatically block scripts on whatever page you load, and if things do not work good then you can set it to allow scripts to work JUST FOR THAT PAGE. Or, just temporarily for that page. It blocks Javascript which is one of the main vectors for introducing Malware into your system. But unfortunately it will cripple most browsing sessions. The good thing is you can whitelist with it and it gives you options to say what is allowed or not. Maybe not for the most newb of newbs. But anyone with a bit of savvy can get some free major protection with this. This is more powerful than an Anti-Virus, as it stops infections before they can take hold or get into your system. Just consider it at least.


I could go on about other things to do. Such as changing your hosts file, and blocking bad I.P.s from there, or even using a VPN to surf anonymously. Also using Virtual Machines as the ultimate backup against malware. But I'll have a look around the site and see if there is somewhere I can start another article about that. Or if someone wants to point me in the right direction?
 
Rigsby said:
This is my main search engine of choice:

Try https://ixquick.com/

=========================================
Click here to learn the top 10 ways Ixquick protects your privacy.
=========================================

If you read Tech sites such as The Register, it is often and highly recommended. I use DDG sometimes too, but I find that Ixquick gives better results. Between the two of them though, you should be able to find what you are looking for.

Also, someone mentioned Ghostery. This is pretty much essential for blocking trackers. It is free and very easy to set up. It blocks sites that would link ads or track you or implant malware into your browsing session. Be warned though, it blocks Disqus, so you might not be able to post or see the comments at RoK for example. But it is easy to unblock by just clicking on its icon and unblocking what you want.

There is even a plugin that takes care of all that for you by unblocking the most common things that Ghostery blocks, that it doesn't really need to, and are just an annoyance. I forget the name of it now, coz I do all my blocking/unblocking 'by hand', but see this thread for more info: http://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/comments/1i04rv/is_there_a_way_to_use_ghostery_and_disqus/

And if you are going to go to all this trouble, and so you should in my opinion, then you will not want to be without AdBlock Plus. Just make sure that you set it so that scripts are not allowed 'Globally', in other words 'free for all'. It will automatically block scripts on whatever page you load, and if things do not work good then you can set it to allow scripts to work JUST FOR THAT PAGE. Or, just temporarily for that page. It blocks Javascript which is one of the main vectors for introducing Malware into your system. But unfortunately it will cripple most browsing sessions. The good thing is you can whitelist with it and it gives you options to say what is allowed or not. Maybe not for the most newb of newbs. But anyone with a bit of savvy can get some free major protection with this. This is more powerful than an Anti-Virus, as it stops infections before they can take hold or get into your system. Just consider it at least.


I could go on about other things to do. Such as changing your hosts file, and blocking bad I.P.s from there, or even using a VPN to surf anonymously. Also using Virtual Machines as the ultimate backup against malware. But I'll have a look around the site and see if there is somewhere I can start another article about that. Or if someone wants to point me in the right direction?



I would not trust ixquick.com or its brother, startpage.com, as concerns about whether they have unofficial links with Google, as they are not throttled, when everyone else get severely limited. Even though ixquick.com don't use Google search results, I cannot trust a company which uses Google's help for one, and not the other.

As far as I am aware, duckduckgo.com looks to be the only main search engine which does not use Google search results or ads, and any links to video (YouTube) or map (Google maps) can now be view on their webpage, which means that Google does not receive any personal data.
 

Rigsby

Pelican
Gold Member
masterblack said:
I would not trust ixquick.com or its brother, startpage.com, as concerns about whether they have unofficial links with Google, as they are not throttled, when everyone else get severely limited. Even though ixquick.com don't use Google search results, I cannot trust a company which uses Google's help for one, and not the other.

As far as I am aware, duckduckgo.com looks to be the only main search engine which does not use Google search results or ads, and any links to video (YouTube) or map (Google maps) can now be view on their webpage, which means that Google does not receive any personal data.

No, I would not trust them either. Then again I would not trust Duck Duck Go. I trust no one. Do no wrong. And when I walk on the wild side, I use a VPN, which also can not be trusted (though some can be trusted more than others).

I think it is fair to say that the powers that be have us all done up like kippers, and if you don't want to get caught then don't do it.

But I was just talking about general covering your tracks kind of stuff, not doing naughty things and not wanting to get caught kind of things. Anonymity and privacy on the internet should be a given as a democratic privilege. Unfortunately that is not the world we live in, whichever side of the pond we reside on.

All of this is academic anyway, as our I.S.P.s are doing deep packet inspection on us. These are just methods to block out the third party chancers. It's not possible to use the internet without google knowing who you are and logging your activity, then selling it. Even if you don't use google, you still use their networks and servers. Ditto Amazon. CDN (Content Delivery Networks), deliver the content via Networks. Such as the BBC in the UK, extensively use Akamai (as do many many others). It isn't as simple as a quick handshake between me and you anymore. So many ways to get sniffed (see WireShark).

I take the spirit of this thread to be: How to enhance your privacy. Not a 'how to evade detection when doing certain stuff', kind of thing. They do overlap. I think it has already got too technical. This conversation can always be carried on at a later point. As a newb, I'm not going to outstay my welcome any more on this.
 

Nemausus

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I've been using DuckDuckGo for a while now. They recently did a redesign which has been a marked improvement in usability. It was kind of an ugly interface before but now it looks great. I have it set as my default search engine on all my devices (Laptop/Tablet/Phone). Definitely recommend it.
 

CJ

Pelican
I'm not going to pretend that Google is the best search engine, but the conspiracy theories in the OP are comical. Simply clearing or blocking cache & cookies, can erase a ton of data Google has "stored" on you.

Trust me, Google knows surprisingly less about you than you think they do, and user privacy is HUGE.
 

rearman

Pelican
runsonmagic said:
Duckduckgo isn't just better on privacy, it's better on function.

Type a letter and an exclamation point and you're taken to the search results for other sites.

yt! = searches youtube
a! = searches amazon
g! = searches google

You can search google from duckduckgo - and it's an encrypted search through their site, rather than your ip. There is truly no reason to use google anymore.
Does using g! defeat the purpose of using DuckDuckGo?
 

heavy

Hummingbird
Gold Member
I'm torn in general on privacy vs convenience and have been for years. I've considered going all private, but realize that as long as I use Google and my smartphone for everything there's no point.

Having Google sync everything and all of their products, etc, makes life so much better (I guess the privacy thing would primarily be in regards to searching, email, and docs). But again, I'm open to convincing...
 

Rigsby

Pelican
Gold Member
Screwston said:
Is Startpage or DuckDuckGo better?

None of them are secure. All your information can be read in real time if you are a person of interest. Just like in the movies with what you type on screen showing up in a duplicate in their monitor. It is othwerwise logged and kept on a big server somewhere in Utah.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/0...sh_intelligence_middleeast_internet_spy_base/

Every single communication you send, whether it is skype, phone, email, browsing, is recorded and kept on file.

Unfortunately that is the game at the moment. The UK spies on the US and the US spies on the UK. Sweden spies on everyone if you read the article. All of the sub marine cables are tapped, all of the satellite coms too. Absolutely every single form of communication is intercepted and stored for retrieval at a later date. Even the VPNs have been compromised.

But yes, it is better to use ixquick than google, and it is better to use a VPN if you want to remain anonymous. But you will only be anyonymous to the people you are visiting, not the US/UK governments.

I personally do not bother any more, knowing the depth and breadth of the game. Tor and encryption and all that is good if I want to go to a website and get info without them knowing who I am, but it only fools them.

Read the Register article for an idea of how entrenched all this is.


If you are really interested about being anonymous and being secure then there are websites out there that will tell you. But you aren't going to find that information here. It would mean someone sticking their head too far above the parapet. Not worth it. Seek and ye shall find kind of thing. Follow the trails from the link I gave and you should be off to a good start.
 
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