It's almost that time of year. Following festive holiday dinners and gift exchanges, many switch focus to the new year and their 2022 goals. Although exercising, organizing that clutter room or even reading more may be on the list of resolutions, what about boosting your personal privacy and better protecting your data while searching the web? You can always try regularly deleting your browser history, opting out of password autofills and turning off your browser's location tracking. But, the simplest way to keep your data safe may be to switch to an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo.
Although it may provide less precise search results than Google, DuckDuckGo has your privacy in mind and aims to protect your personal information. It encrypts your searches, blocks trackers from advertisements and doesn't store your search history data.
Setting DuckDuckGo as your default web search engine is a simple process that only takes a minute or two. Here's how to do it in Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox. You can even use DuckDuckGo on your phone.
There is an alternative way to make the private search engine your default if you're using Google Chrome and find right clicking to be a little tricky.
For extra privacy, you can also install the DuckDuckGo Chrome browser extension.
If you're using an iPhone or iPad, you can also use the privacy-focused engine as your default way to search. Here's how.
Similar to Chrome, Firefox has an add-on for the search engine that offers additional privacy features.
DuckDuckGo isn't the only one focused on protecting your personal data. There's the Brave browser, which blocks trackers and third-party cookies that monitor your activity as you search the web. It also lets you control what is and isn't being blocked like ads, cookies or Facebook and Google login buttons. Brave has DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option, too.
For more privacy focus tips, take a look at a few browser privacy settings you should change right away and 7 things data privacy experts wish you knew about your app security. You can also check out CNET's roundup of browser-based VPNs to try and our list of the best virtual private networks.