Friday, February 18, 2011

Are Your Search Results Protected?

Over the last two weeks I've talked about the importance of backing up your memories and locking down your credit. Both topics deal with protecting those things that are personal to you. So today's focus is on protecting your search results. In a digital world you would be amazed at the amount of information someone could compile off of your internet habits. Your search results could tell a story that would revival the work of an FBI profiler. I know you may think I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean your online life has to be an open book.

This is where StartPage comes in. StartPage is provided by Ixquick (overseas version) and it allows you to search the internet in total anonymity. They do not record your IP address, use cookies or track your searches, and they're the first search engine to do so. If you're not familiar with IP addresses to a computer it's just like your phone number showing up on a caller ID. Most search engines record all this information so they can target you with advertising and other things, but most importantly all this information is stored on their computers. This puts your personal life in the hands of others.

StartPage saves you time by searching the most popular search engines simultaneously and anonymously. They provide more comprehensive search results, advanced searches (Boolean logic, phrases, wildcards, and field searches) and global Internet searches providing you with business listings in the StartPage Phonebook. StartPage uses a star ranking system from 1-5 and  search result honing to help pinpoint the search results you want with either a check mark or an x. After finding a search term in StartPage you will have the option of going to the page directly, or using their proxy button underneath the results. This adds another layer of protection to your privacy.

To back all of this up StartPage was the first to receive European Privacy Seal Award in 2008 certifying their promise to protect their users privacy. So if you're serious about security and your personal information give StartPage a try. A big thanks to Dr. Katherine Albrecht U.S Contact for StartPage and a respected security advocate for allowing me to use the StartPage logo. When it comes to security remember it's better to be proactive than reactive.