Powerful search engines track your every click and collect information on just about everything you do online. The good news is that there are ways to protect your Internet privacy.
Itâ€™s important to understand that major search engines plant cookies on your browser to track your Internet behavior across multiple services. Although most cookies expire in a relatively short amount of time, such as days, weeks or months, there are a few Google cookies that can last 38 years!
Although Google is open about its association with many of the projects it funds, there are other services they invest in but do not show any outward branding. Take a look at the screenshot of reCaptcha. Google has invested in this company but there is no branding or indication of their connection. Donâ€™t assume that any site is independent just because branding isnâ€™t shown.
How can you prevent Google or Bing from tracking your search history? Below are some ways to do this.
- Google Chrome browser continuously tracks visitors and sends information to Google, but you can opt out.
- Use keyboard shortcuts to set up privacy commands.
- Googleâ€™s Chromeâ€™s â€œIncognitoâ€ mode can be turned on with Shift+Ctrl+N.
- Microsoft Internet Explorerâ€™s InPrivate Browsing service can be accessed while you are using Internet Explorer by hitting Ctrl+Shift+P.
- Incognito and InPrivate Browsing will prevent your browsing history from being stored in the browserâ€™s cache, but remember that Google may still be storing data in its application serviceâ€™s archives.
Internet privacy is an every growing issue.Â The public is demanding better controls and more information about how and why their private information is being used. In 2011, Google announced its Data Liberation Project as part of its Takeout Service. Now Google lists what data they store for an individual user.Â You can log into the service for free and delete what you donâ€™t want to share with Google. Check out http://www.dataliberation.org/ for more information.
If you are diligent you can prevent Google and Bing from tracking your search history, but Internet privacy is not automatic.Â Let us know if youâ€™ve used Chromeâ€™s Incognito or Internet Explorerâ€™s InPrivate Browsing.Â Are they convenient or too much of a hassle?Â Have you used Googleâ€™s Takeout Service?Â Do you care if Google or Microsoft tracks your online habits?