Privacy on the Internet is somewhat of a fleeting thing, and in some cases, it may not even exist anymore. People are constantly scrambling to protect their social media profiles and computers from almost everyone, from their own family and friends, to their employers and coworkers, and even law enforcement and the government. Despite all the moves we make to ensure our privacy, they are not a guarantee that someone might find something out about yourself that you don’t want to be put out there.
Although people are finding ways to mask their true IP addresses by using programs and proxy websites, often times more than not, they become more of a hassle than a benefit to those who want to have true privacy, namely because of the setup time of the programs and the reliability and speed of the proxies. However, the search engine Ixquick claims to not record the IP addresses of their users, which makes it a good alternative to those who do not want to be tracked while they are on the Internet.
“Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose – then they store that information in a giant database. Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, black-hat hackers and criminals – all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data,” the website says. “When you use Ixquick, we do not record your IP address, we do not record which browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.), we do not record your computer platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.), and we do not record your search words or phrases. In fact, the only information we do record is an aggregate total of how many searches are performed on our website each day (a measure of overall traffic), and those overall traffic numbers broken down by language.”
As a result, Ixquick scored a perfect 100 out of 100 on PrivacyScore, a website that assesses the privacy risks of visiting a website. In contrast, Google only scored 85 out of 100, Bing only scored 83 out of 100, and Yahoo! only scored 75 out of 100. While those look like relatively high scores, PrivacyScore says to exercise caution while visiting all of those search engines.