The fast pace of today’s digital marketplace makes knowing where your information goes after you put it online an important consideration. Most of us probably don’t even think about it, but every time we use Google, we’re being tracked through our IP address, our data is being collected by ad agencies, and our information is being saved forever in servers.

Once this information is out of our hands, the truth is that we don’t know what it will be used for. Aggressive marketing campaigns and lead generators are annoying. Some scams that prey off sensitive information acquired this way can be downright dangerous.

Learning how to protect your privacy online is a must. Here are a few search engine alternatives to Google that focus on privacy.

Hot.com

Hot.com is a relatively new addition to the lineup, but it promises its users total privacy when conducting their searches, including the freedom from data collection and tracking offered by some of the more established alternatives.

searX

SearX is an example of the biggest benefit you get using a private searching engine, which is that you know exactly what you’re getting. Few can boast more transparency than searX. Not only do they promise never to track you or collect your information, but they run on open source code.

This means that if you download the website’s code from Git hub, you can manipulate it yourself to provide the exact amount of safety you want, customized to your needs.

DuckDuckGo

This one is a standard. DuckDuckGo has been providing privacy-focused internet users a viable alternative to Google for over a decade. They promise to keep “Privacy simplified” and they do so through their clean, responsive layout and focused devotion to keeping cookies and ad initiatives away from their system.

They get a lot of their results from Google as well, so this alternative may provide a shockingly similar experience without the threats to your privacy.

Gibiru

Gibiru has made a lack of censorship and an abundance of privacy their mission since being founded in 2009. For those who want to make sure that their searches remain completely anonymous and that no results are left out due to content, Gibiru is a lot of people’s go-to alternative.

Even the search history is deleted from their system within seconds. For those that use the internet to calculate finances or make important decisions, that added amount of security may feel like it goes a long way.

StartPage

StartPage prides itself on keeping its users’ queries anonymous and free of trackers. Unlike Google, StartPage generates URLs to make cookies unnecessary and promises never to collect your personal information when you use their service.

If you’re particularly worried about being tracked online and the pesky marketing campaigns that you can attract by being so, StartPage may be a good choice for you.

Swisscows

Switzerland is known for some of the most particular privacy and data retention laws in the world. The dedicated servers of Swisscows are located there in the mountains where they run results through other engines and give them back to you as privately and anonymously as possible.

For parents, this is also a good option when you want to protect your kids from sensitive or adult content. Swisscows automatically censors this for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.

In Summary

Privacy is a major concern when you’re searching for things online. This could be because you don’t want to be tracked by ad agencies and bombarded with aggressive marketing, want to search for sensitive content in peace, or want to calculate personal information related to health and finances using a search engine.

No matter what, you don’t want this data to get out. That’s why using a privacy-focused search engine like those mentioned as an alternative to Google is becoming an increasingly good idea.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.