Revealing ourselves online is a risk we play when using the internet. Even if you use various search engines, like Google, Yahoo, or MSN’s options, you could be giving away a lot of personal information. Learn about online search privacy.
These search providers, amongst the various others, all track your search data using your IP and/or internet cookies to identify you. If you are stuck using one IP address the whole time you use the internet, and that data is found, someone could view all of your search records leaving you very embarrassed or making you a victim of identity theft.
1. One key point to protecting yourself is to never enter any personal data into a search engine.
Sometimes, we may want to see what happens when we enter our name in a search, but your name will be linked to anything else you have searched for that IP. It wouldn’t be the smartest decision to search your social security number or credit card numbers online.
2. Protecting your IP address is probably the easiest way to start defending yourself from online attacks.
There are plenty of programs that can help you do this. Tor is one such tool that will switch your IP, making it impossible to track the location you are in. This is especially important for internet users that have to surf on a static IP address.
3. Searching from different locations is another way you can protect your search data from appearing on one IP address.
No two places are hit with the same IP address. If you work on a network of computers, like in an office behind a firewall, you won’t have to worry about your identity being as easily distinguished as others. For users on a broadband connection, your modem will assign an IP address every time it is rebooted. Using a new IP address with this type of connection is simple as it only requires you to turn off the modem, and restart it to create a new IP address for all your searching needs.
4. You should block your cookies while searching or delete them after you close your browser.
Searches can also be tracked by cookies. While it would be best to turn off cookies completely, many websites require them for access. You should take care of your online search privacy by wiping cookies from your browser as you close it.
5. Avoid using search engines from your internet provider, or on websites you are logged into.
While they provide convenient ways to search for data on the internet, it is easily tracked and stored in a centrally accessible place.
The internet can be a scary place, and if you aren’t careful you might find someone that knows a lot more about you than you wish they did. Avoid this by protecting yourself a little more while using search engines.
What do you think about online search privacy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.