DuckDuckGo Claims Anonymity, But Does It Work?
Recently an inquiry came into the PC Matic help desk asking us to review search engine site DuckDuckGo. Typically, we aren’t into reviewing other products or sites, but we didn’t have a lot of background information and were curious.
DuckDuckGo claims anonymity and unbiased search results. That means when you use their site, your search history won’t be saved. It also means your answers won’t be filtered by targeted ads or tracking algorithms.
But does this site work? And, if so, what revenue fuels its fire?
There’s a great article on Forbes.com that provided me with some insight. DuckDuckGo does use advertising, but only based on what you’ve typed into the search bar at that moment. Instead of listening across your devices to find out what you’re thinking, they will simply connect you with something that matches your current search. And that’s it.
If you begin a new search? Well, anything you’d previously engaged with simply won’t be there. Want to bounce from bouncy castles to grills as you plan your upgraded backyard for the summer? DuckDuckGo isn’t looking to keep your data on their servers. As you search each item, they move with you. Instead of curating a backyard for you, DuckDuckGo allows you an unbiased look at what’s out there.
The Safer Search
DuckDuckGo is being touted as the “safer search engine” by those interested in privacy. That shouldn’t mean, however, that you should think of it as protection against malicious scripts or as a web filtering tool.
The website CommonSenseMedia.org outlines briefly how DuckDuckGo is still delivering a myriad of results for your searches. In other words, it’s not going to keep your kids from finding the bad stuff on the internet. It will, however, keep anyone from knowing what they search.
Not recording a search history will also not protect you from phishing attempts and picking up malicious scripts. You’re still going to need antivirus protection for that. Please don’t enter into this thinking the search engine will be a replacement for your protection software.
So Does It Work?
By all accounts, DuckDuckGo is doing exactly what it says it’s doing. So, yes. Users seem happy and reviewers agree it’s a great way to keep your searches private and tracking algorithm free.
While we don’t officially endorse other products here at PC Matic, I will say that I’m intrigued. There’s the ability on their site to add the extension to your browser. I went ahead an activated it. The few searches I’ve done thus far have come up with a great variety of results. All the tools I’m used to from my other searches are there. So far so good.
If privacy is your thing, and you know that the site isn’t protecting you from malware, I’d say there’s no harm in trying it out. Just make sure to keep your common sense hat on and your antivirus product active. Otherwise, happy searching!
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