Google has a lot of power in today’s digital environment. They not only dominate the search engine market, but they also offer a lot of tools and services that people use daily on all of their devices. These include Google Maps, Google My Business, Shopping, Gmail, and many more.
With so much control, you can bet that Google comes with a few risks as well. There’s a lot that you may not know about in terms of using Google as your primary search engine and the risks that can come from doing so. Here are a few reasons to reconsider Google as your go-to search engine and a few alternatives to it as well.
Knowing the Dangers
Most people don’t really know what data gets shared when they go online. Terms like “IP address” and “server” don’t really mean anything when they hear them. However, knowing what data gets shared and how people see it can be a pretty big deal when you’re asking yourself if Google is the best option for you.
Personalized ads, data collection, and lead generators associated with Google (they give you results based on your history) can lead to breaches in your security, scams, and even data theft. This is why some people are taking alternative routes to search for things online.
This is a smaller option and relatively new to the list of available search engines. Hot.com offers its users the privacy options they require to search in peace and not be bombarded by ads. They promise never to collect and store your personal information, so anything you look up on their site stays completely between you and them.
DuckDuckGo is one of the most prominent Google alternatives out there. Their motto is “Privacy, simplified” and they’ve been giving their users that promise for more than a decade. DuckDuckGo won’t store your private info, follow you around with personalized ads, or sell your information to companies that want you to use their services. Its results algorithm and user interface also share a lot in common with Google, ensuring that it’s not too big a departure for those looking for a more private experience but without changing too much of the way their browser looks and feels.
Startpage use its own proxy server. This means that when you search through their engine, your queries and results remain completely anonymous. This gives you full protection and privacy when you’re looking up sensitive information or when you don’t want your personal searches logged and used for ads and collections.
WolframAlpha has been a source of knowledge for academics for a long time. It’s also useful as a search engine for specific needs, particularly involving calculations, finances, and health. Those interested in movies and art may also find its results pages useful when compiling information on awards, sales records, and art history.
If you’re wondering whether you should use Google, you probably already have a specific privacy concern related to the way they collect and process your information. The good news is that there are a lot of alternatives out there for those looking for a more private search experience. Some even have specialized results that may be more suited to your needs. All you need to do is search for them.