We are in the final stretch of the year and you know it is time to organize the winter holidays. Take advantage of your free time in the office to search for options from your smartphone, visit the websites of some travel agencies and return to work. When you get home you get to read the news of the day, but you discover more than relevant information, several ads offering you vacation offers appear on your social networks and the web pages you visit. So it goes for several days until you do another search and the cycle repeats itself.
At first perhaps you did not even notice this situation, you thought it was a lucky coincidence that occurred at the right time. Today you accept the discomfort of feeling watched or spied on, intrusive advertising annoys you and you have come to hear how the data of internet users passes through the hands of hundreds of advertising companies that make million-dollar profits at your expense.
Google is the king of internet search engines. No one can deny that Googling is one of the most popular verbs and has changed the language in the digital age. But what is behind obtaining an answer to all our doubts, is a company that tracks, extracts and groups in profiles the data obtained from millions of users around the world so that advertisers follow them and can display their ads, using networks Massive ad banners embedded in millions of websites and apps.
To avoid being a victim of this plot and keep your information, interests and behavior away from advertising purposes, we recommend two browsers that offer the guarantee of anonymity on the internet:
DuckDuckGo appeared a decade ago as an alternative that guarantees the privacy of users. The data is never saved, it only collects the geographic location of each search and offers local results for queries such as restaurants and news. With this option you will not stop seeing advertising when you do a search; However, the difference is that it does not track your behavior to show ads, for this it is only based on keywords that you type in each search and does not generate a history.
To facilitate user identification and transition, its creator Gabriel Weinberg designed a Google-like interface in which a cartoon duck head replaces the “G”. Also, when you enter the search, a list of links that will be very familiar to you appears, with Wikipedia definitions at the beginning and maps provided through an association with Apple Maps.
Although DuckDuckGo guarantees you total privacy, it is important that you know this information and avoid being scammed once again. In 2018, Google added DuckDuckGo as one of the four default search engines for Chrome users; however, when users use it through this browser, all searches are still logged.
While DuckDuckGo currently has only 1 percent of the market today, compared to 85 percent of the most popular search engine, in the last two years it has registered nearly 40 million searches per day, according to the statistical site StatCounter.
Surely you have ever read or heard something about Tor Browser. Some internet users identify it as the browser to enter the deep web, but very few know that they can use it to navigate in a conventional way without leaving traces and, above all, without violating their privacy. And best of all, it is already available for both Android users on Google Play and Apple’s iOS.
Unlike other browsers that simply encrypt traffic, but make metadata such as the recipient and traffic sender accessible, Tor avoids tracing, as traffic travels a path of intermediary servers making it impossible to locate the original IP. If you still do not measure the level of privacy, you just need to know that this browser is used by the US Navy.
The user number is not only minimal compared to Google, it is even too lower than the one registered by DuckDuckGo. So far this year, it has had up to almost 4 million searches a day and the countries that lead its use are Iran (20.24%), Russia (16.39%), the United States (15.33%), Germany (6.74%) and France ( 3.64%), according to Tor Metrics.
It is not enough to know, you have to make the decision to change
On multiple occasions, Google has pointed out the “benefits” of its data analysis practices and has ensured that it keeps them private and secure. However, according to Princeton University’s Web Transparency & Accountability Project, it implements hidden trackers on 76% of websites to monitor behavior and generate profiles of individuals including interests, past purchases, search, browsing, history location and other data that is stored indefinitely and used for invasive targeted advertising.
This and much more information about the practices of Google and other large companies such as Facebook, is accessible to everyone; however, raising consumer awareness of the importance of maintaining their privacy is a battle going against the grain. Internet users are a goog to know this situation, but it seems that they are not willing to give up the most popular search engine even to keep their data safe and free of profit.