5 ways to keep your online searches private

Everyone wants to keep their online searches private, but not many know how.

You might think you’re protecting yourself—and any embarrassing or private questions—by using Incognito Mode, but that’s only so. Tap or click here to see what Incognito Mode is good for and what it can’t.

There are steps you can take to keep your searches, from wiping everything you’re looking for to being completely private with a VPN. Let’s jump in.

1. Private Browsing Mode
Despite its name, don’t get too excited. While Private Browsing Mode will provide you with some privacy, it doesn’t keep everything secure.

In Google Chrome, it’s called Incognito Mode. It does not save history, cookies or form data when you are in private browsing mode of any browser, including Firefox and Safari.

This is good because what you search for when you close your browser is what wipes your system locally. This keeps your autofill suggestions clean and means you can shop for gifts without revealing secrets. Have you ever had a moment when a loved one comes to your computer and is spoiled by the ads that pop up?

But your Internet Service Provider, the websites you visit and even Google still have access to everything you do in these so-called private modes.

2. Go with a Choice
If you really want privacy, look to Google, Bing, or a search service other than other mainstream options.

StartPage calls itself “the world’s most private search engine”. The Netherlands-based company pays Google for its use of its search algorithm but removes the tracking and advertising that usually comes with it. You get a Google-like experience, with the promise that your data will never be stored, tracked or sold.

Test it out on startpage.com. You can also set StartPage as your browser’s default search engine.

DuckDuckGo is another option that doesn’t track you like Google. It doesn’t allow targeted advertising, research results aren’t based on your search history and you’ll see fewer ads based on your search.

It’s also easy to use and install, with extensions that plug in with all major browsers. You can also search on duckduckgo.com.

3. Erase Your Browsing History
Besides being tracked by companies and your ISP, there are other reasons you might not want people to see your browser history. Maybe you need to see something private (and embarrassing) or you just don’t want to spoil a surprise.

You can use your computer for both work and personal purposes and want to keep them separate and private. Deleting your browsing history is the right way to do this.

There are a few steps to follow for every browser and even your social media accounts. Tap or click here for all the steps required for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and more.

4. Hide Yourself With a VPN
In 2017, the House of Representatives voted to end Federal Communications Commission rules that barred ISPs from selling your search data. Soon after, the search for VPNs skyrocketed. Fast forward to today and for those who know that a VPN is the only way what you do online is truly private.

What is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network is a layer of security between your device and the Internet. It hides your IP address and your location.

It also encrypts your data after it leaves your device and whatever website you visit. Plus, a VPN is great for connecting to public Wi-Fi because it turns an unsecured connection into a safe one to use.

You can use your computer for both work and personal purposes and want to keep them separate and private. Deleting your browsing history is the right way to do this.

There are a few steps to follow for every browser and even your social media accounts. Tap or click here for all the steps required for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and more.

4. Hide Yourself With a VPN
In 2017, the House of Representatives voted to end Federal Communications Commission rules that barred ISPs from selling your search data. Soon after, the search for VPNs skyrocketed. Fast forward to today and for those who know that a VPN is the only way what you do online is truly private.

What is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network is a layer of security between your device and the Internet. It hides your IP address and your location.

It also encrypts your data after it leaves your device and whatever website you visit. Plus, a VPN is great for connecting to public Wi-Fi because it turns an unsecured connection into a safe one to use.

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