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Welcome to the Duck Side: Everything You Need to Know About DuckDuckGo

Author: Kateri Bean, Content Creator With recent outrage over Facebook’s data harvesting and Google’s stalkerish behavior, it comes as no surprise that people are feeling ultra-protective of their privacy online. Many of us have accepted that all our actions on the internet are being carefully tracked and documented, after all, Facebook and Google control most of what we do online, but that doesn’t mean we like it! But what if you could utilize the internet in all the same ways you do now without being tracked and having your personal data stored? Enter DuckDuckGo, the search engine that values your privacy just as much as you! Started in September of 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo believes that “the internet shouldn’t feel creepy” and that “getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds”. DuckDuckGo promises not to use cookies to follow users or collect any personal information. If that weren’t good enough, even your IP address is hidden and its privacy policy is refreshingly simple. With an average of 25 million daily users, it’s obvious these sentiments have hit a chord amongst internet users. But, how does it compare to Google? The answer is, pretty close! First of all, starting to use DuckDuckGo is incredibly easy. With a Chrome extension, mobile app, and the ability to set it as your default search engine, making the switch is simple. As for the search results, they’re comparable to Google’s. Its results are not as personalized or predictive (aka creepily accurate) as Google’s, due to the fact that DuckDuckGo isn’t using vast amounts of your stored data like Google is. When using DuckDuckGo, you will have to make your searches a little more detailed to get exactly the results you’re looking for. However, DuckDuckGo loads search results just as quickly as Google does and, because it ranks websites differently than Google, it allows you to discover information that you may not have seen otherwise. Unlike Google which is forever trying to personalize every result based off what they know about you, DuckDuckGo merely gives you a result. They also offer some useful things that Google can’t. While 25 million users may be small compared to Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches, it isn’t nothing. After all, Facebook and Google didn’t automatically gain billions of users, it took time. As more and more people become aware of how their privacy may be being abused, it is fair to assume that DuckDuckGo will only grow from here.
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