Written by Jason Mick

Whether you are a network engineer Googling a potential product who is weary of vendor follow-up emails or a journalist searching for background information on a topic that might flag you for some kind of government watch list (e.g., my search for the Syrian Electronic Army’s Twitter feed), many of us have wished that search was a little more private. In response, a number of so-called private search engines have arisen, claiming to prevent the sort of information-gathering associated with Google, Bing, or Yahoo searches.   They include Gibiru, DuckDuckGo, Qrobe.it, StartPage, Gigablast, and Zeekly.

To understand what these private searches mean to you and to your company’s privacy and security, you must first consider how they operate. Some, such as StartPage and Gibiru, simply skin an existing search engine (such as Google), routing search requests through its servers. Assuming they’re trustworthy, this is an okay approach. It’s essentially no different from using a virtual proxy network (VPN), but it does afford you a degree of privacy.

 

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