Is DuckDuckGo Safe
If you have been looking for a search engine that’s more private and does not harvest user data for advertisement purposes, consider using DuckDuckGo. We’ll walk you through the important questions, such as is DuckDuckGo safe to use and how it fares against more popular search engines when it comes to privacy.
What is DuckDuckGo?
A search engine is a way to get around the internet by looking up relevant information. The sheer vastness of the internet is equivalent to the number of websites launching every year. A search engine like DuckDuckGo makes it easy to find domains of interest. Enter a keyword and the search engine will pull up relevant web pages.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that has found its footing in the privacy space. It has established itself as a web search engine that does not “track” you. You might not have heard of it, but DuckDuckGo is growing faster than ever, with more than 3 billion monthly search queries. It has also pivoted to introduce a web browser and an anti-tracking extension for web browsers.
Why Do You Need a Private Search Engine?
Google is the leading web search engine in the world. Its per day traffic eclipses all other search engines by a long shot. However, Google’s popularity is not without tradeoffs. It’s no secret that Google hasn’t always done a good job at protecting the privacy of its users. Google has been constantly under scrutiny for how it collects user data.
While Google would have you believe that it does right by its users, logic dictates otherwise. Just look at Google’s financial results, and it’s evident that the overwhelming majority of its revenue comes from advertisement.
Google has built an ecosystem that is profitable through its advertisement business. Google provides you with a robust search engine, an email service, and various other platforms. Google Search plays a key role in its advertising business.
By profiling users, Google can mark users for targeted advertisements. Ever noticed the ads section while looking up something on Google Search? That’s Google targeting you based on the keyword for the business of its client. To pull this profiling, Google needs lots of data.
Google also does what’s known as cross-site tracking. As an ads platform, Google partners with websites and integrates its code on the websites, allowing Google to know about your visit.
What Makes DuckDuckGo a Private Search Engine?
The short answer is that DuckDuckGo does not follow all the practices mentioned above. DuckDuckGo states it does not “collect or share any of your personal information.”
However, that is not to say that DuckDuckGo does not show ads. On its support page, DuckDuckGo states that it displays ads based on the keyword and not the person. It means that where Google’s recommendations and ad selection are based on profiling, DuckDuckGo’s advertisement only considers the keyword. The platform uses Microsoft’s ad network to display ads.
DuckDuckGo is in an affiliate partnership with Amazon and eBay. The search engine earns money when you purchase from any of these websites through DuckDuckGo.
So, How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?
The bulk of DuckDuckGo’s revenue comes from funding. Because it has not dipped its fingers into the honeypot known as advertising, DuckDuckGo is missing out on potential revenue. But with that approach out, DuckDuckGo relies on investors, aside from generating revenue from contextual ads and affiliates partnerships.
DuckDuckGo says that the company has been profitable since 2014 with annual revenue of $100M+. In 2020, DuckDuckGo closed an investment of over $100 million.
Such information is crucial. Understanding how a platform makes money tells a lot about its privacy practice. A free platform costs money to run, and if it’s not charging you a subscription, then it’s making money off your data.
How to Use DuckDuckGo
Head over to the search engine here and start looking up search results. DuckDuckGo web browser extension is a tool that blocks ad-trackers on the web. It also grades websites based on privacy to give you an insight into what to expect. However, such tools are not always accurate, so grading should not be taken as definitive.
HTTPS is an important technology that enables secure communication over the internet. It encrypts traffic between the client and the webserver. The DuckDuckGo extension forces websites to display the HTTPS version. Websites may not be properly configured and could display unsecured pages. The tool will ensure that you always land on a secure web page.
For iOS and Android, download DuckDuckGo web browser that is built with all of the features mentioned above. Launch the App Store or Play Store and search for the web browser.
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