Wednesday December 11, 2013
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Duck Duck Go may sound like a silly name for a browser, but using it has one large advantage: I can surf the web without having someone collecting information on me.
That was why I dropped Google and went with Duck Duck Go. No snooping. No selling information about me. I like that. If I wanted the whole world to know my private information I'd post it.
That gives Google a powerful tool for targeting the user with advertising based on his or her interests and search history. Advertising is the main way the company makes its money.
The collection of data is not just limited to people with accounts to Google applications. The web giant can collect information from anyone who visits a website that has a link to its services - for example, a Google map posting. Ever seen one of those? A handy map on some site? They come from Google.
The French agency said that of the top 500 most-visited sites in France, 90 percent had a link with Google.
The part that worries me--and should worry you--is that according the Associated Press is that "under the new policy Google doesn't differentiate between data collected, so a search term and a credit card number are treated the same and can be used for any purpose stated in the policy."
Uh-uh! No thanks!
I'll stick with Duck Duck Go.
I'm very serious about this, folks. I would strongly advise you to consider what Google is doing with your data. I would stop using a search engine that was good when it started but has now become a vacuum cleaner for your personal data. Of course, if you don't care who knows all about you, just keep on using Google.
I also urge you to stop using any site that has a hidden link to Google. For example, if you go to a site that has a map on it that is identical to Google Maps that kinda sorta hints that maybe, could be, possibly Google is now tracking you.
And the final hint: When your browser is running there's a place on it, usually the lower left hand corner, which tells you what's going on at the moment. You may have noticed that some sites take longer to load than others. Have you ever stopped to think that may be because they are putting up ads directed at YOU, using information about you that has been collected while you were surfing the net? Is that what you want? Do you want things to slow down so you can see more ads?
Start looking at that little place down there in that corner and you'll quite often see something that says that Google is doing something. Then stop and think about that. Ask yourself a question: Why is Google doing something on a site that isn't Google? Then, having answered the question make a note of the site and DO NOT go there again.
Big Google is watching!
One more thing just occurred to me. You are also being "filter bubbled" on Google.
So what is "filter bubbling?" Google collects data on you. It then uses the sites you have gone to, and the things you have searched for, to decide what you should see. Then, when you put in a search term Google does two things. It puts advertising on the screen to sell you something, and worse, it only shows you the things it thinks you ought to see.
Try this: Put in a search term, any search term. Look at the results. Then go to two or three of them. Then put in another search term and go someplace else. Now, enter the original search term again, but if you are hoping to go to the same places you saw before you are in for a disappointment. Why? Well, Google says, "Hey. He's been there already. He doesn't need to go there again.
Ever had that happen? Ever gone nuts trying to find that site you went to a few minutes before? Now you know why it happens. It is clear cut proof that if you use Google you are being monitored all the while you are on the net.
DDG does not collect info on you. It does not tell a site who you are when it takes you to that site (Google does). It does not filter bubble you (Google does). It has settings that protect you from hidden surveillance (Google does not). It has options that will allow you to surf the net in complete privacy (Google does not, it makes it money partly by collecting your information.
We need federal regulation on this, but until we get it your best way to protect your privacy is to use DDG.
I've been using Duck Duck Go for several months, since Tom referred me to it. It works for me! Thanks Tom.
You're welcome, Fred.
When Google was first started up by two guys who had the idea of using banks of PC's to create a search engine instead of using a mini-computer I was rooting for them. And they did very well for a long time. Then corporate greed kicked in. They realized they could make a lot of money with sleaze. So like all so many corporations they put money ahead of honesty and service by collecting data.
I have said this before, but I will say it again: We need one general opt-in law, a law which specifically says that in the relationship between an individual and a company the company is forbidden to change the original contract in any way without a specific opt-in by the customer. What we have now is a situation where companies make changes if you do not opt OUT, and that means they can change things all the time, based on the idea that all they have to do is send you a notice with a lot of fine print that you don't read telling you that it is coming and that you can opt out if you want.
A contract is a contract. There should be no unilateral changes allowed, and no changes at all that the customer does not ASK for.
In fact, I believe that we are due for an amendment to the constitution regarding the rights of individuals v. companies. The original intent of the Constitution has been eroded away by the development of technology to the point that we now no longer are the free people we once were.
As for Duck Duck Go, its an outfit that makes its money based on honest, open, fair minded treatment of its users. Check it out. You'll love the increased speed and the fact that when you search for something you get all the results, not filtered results.
By the way, here's a hint that may help you in searches. If you are looking for something and you think it may be in wiki, it is faster and better to NOT go to wiki. Instead, enter the search term and put wiki ahead of it; like this: wiki list of quotes.
What will happen is two things: One, wiki does not have the powerful search engine that DDG has, so you will get many more results than you would have if you went straight to wiki and entered the search term because DDG is able to search inside wiki much faster than wiki itself can. Two, putting wiki in first will eliminate all those irritating dot.com sites that are just using your search term to suck you into going to them.
Just for laughs, and to see what I mean, try that specific search term: wiki list of quotes. I just picked it out of the air and actually used it to see what would happen. You will be astounded at the dozens of categories and thousands of quotes you get--all without annoying garbage jumping around on your screen or any link to Google collecting your information.
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