Secure web services

If there's one thing the Snowden leaks have shown us, it's that security and privacy are largely an illusion.

WhiteHat’s Aviator combines excellent features with the popular Disconnect plugin.

WhiteHat’s Aviator combines excellent features with the popular Disconnect plugin.

DuckDuckGo

Memorable name, quirky logo, DuckDuckGo made its claim to fame by being one of the first engines that doesn't store or pass on user-identifiable information. Although partially still advertising supported, user-profiling is not involved. Search results draw from a variety of sources including Yahoo!, Bing, Yandex and WoflramAlpha as well as other sources like Wikipedia.

Core to its claim DuckDuckGo does not pass on personally identifiable information when collating results, nor passes on your search terms to a link you click on via the HTTP referrer header as most search engines do. Beyond not tracking, DuckDuckGo emphasises another advantage this provides over competition like Google: by effectively being anonymous when you search, your results aren't a result of a 'filter bubble' that supposedly represents your interests due to information collected about you.

Instead, the full scope of possible results are returned, making it more useful to find the information you actually need that user-profiling would otherwise think you don't.

There are a few other features that make DuckDuckGo interesting -- by default if will attempt HTTPS connections for any site that supports it, and rather than save your settings for the site in cookies on your browser, you can save them anonymously in DuckDuckGo's Cloud Save feature to allow you to use them from a variety of computers, or to setup a variety of settings, via saving them with a passphrase that generates a SHA-2 key. To change DuckDuckGo settings click on 'Learn More' at the bottom, then About and Tweak Settings.

One of the more popular secure search alternatives.
One of the more popular secure search alternatives.

Tags privacymalwareattacksweb browserscriminalsSnowden leaks

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