Many websites on the Internet track your online activity and then use this information for variety of purposes, for example, displaying ads based on your interest, and more. When searching on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), if you’re logged-in, then Google will store and analyze your searches.
So if you want to protect the privacy of your Internet searches, then there are couple of things that you can do. You can log out of your Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), account and then perform a search. You can use a special browser for searches. You can use private mode (or incognito mode) of browser, or you can use a search engine like DuckDuckGo that focuses on privacy, and doesn’t stores or track any data.
Firefox extension to prevent tracking by Google
While the above methods work, here’s a simpler method. If you use Firefox, then you can install the Searchonymous extension and then start searching on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), anonymously. The extension basically hides you from Google, even when you’re signed-in to your Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), account.
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With this extension, you can stay logged-in to other Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and others, but when you visit Google’s search page, you’ll be able to see the sign-in button, instead of your profile picture. All your search preferences are retained, which means that your custom search settings will still be applied when searching.
One major advantage of Searchonymous is that it removes the advertisements and other such clutter from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), search that are normally shown on the search page. You will no longer be forced to view so-called ‘targeted ads.’
According to the developer, this extension will help you to prevent searches from being tracked by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), or the NSA. When this extension is installed and activated “no tracking cookies are sent to Google while searching. This is done by blocking certain Google cookies (such as the PREF-ID) or generating randomized ones (which are worthless for tracking).”
The developer also notes that “even if no tracking cookies are sent, the NSA can possibly try other techniques to track you (e.g. by IP or browser headers).” But these other techniques are not as accurate as compared to tracking IDs sent on every search.
The extension doesn’t installs any button or option. When you want to disable this extension, just head over to Tools > Addons, or press Ctrl+Shift+A to disable it.