Mike's NBC-TV stories

Tips: Search Engines That Don’t Store Personal Info

Recent revelations about widespread government surveillance of the Internet and the fact that major search engines collect data on users and their search queries for the purposes of both marketing products to them, new search engines that allow anonymous web browsing are catching on big time. Here’s how not to be tracked.

duckgoTry Duck Duck Go, a search engine that doesn’t track you. It also delivers fewer ads and, I think, faster, more relevant answers than even Google. It’s about to get a big boost this fall when Apple includes it with their soon to be released new operating system. Duck Duck Go. Does not collect and thus can’t share personal information about its users. To get to it, just run your searches through duckduckgo.com. It doesn’t look like a traditional search engine but instead seems to deliver just what I’m looking for in a way that is refreshingly simple and minimalist.

Here’s one more private search service I like a lot: TOR for the The Onion Router. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others. It offers anonymous searching through a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to make their searches private and secure from the prying eyes of government spies or spammers. It’s a free download.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.