DuckDuckGo claims to be the most private of all search engines, but that’s not entirely true. What is true is that they don’t collect and store your browsing data. You can’t view your search history on DuckDuckGo, but you can view it in your browser.
Ultimately, DuckDuckGo isn’t a browser, it’s a search engine, and many people confuse the two. This means that if you used the incognito mode in your browser, let’s say Google Chrome, then you (or anyone else on your network) won’t be able to view your search history. Read on to learn more.
It’s Really Simple
What we said in the intro might sound confusing to a lot of you. Let’s clarify things. DuckDuckGo isn’t any different than Google, Bing, etc. in terms of your search history within your browser. Therefore, if you’re using Google Chrome, to view your search history, simply click on More (three dots in the top-right corner of the screen) and select History.
This will take you to your entire search history in one click. You can choose to clear browsing data, or simply recall the websites you visited, neatly sorted by date and time of visiting. The same goes for every browser (we’re just using Chrome as an example).
What we’re saying is that DuckDuckGo won’t erase your search history. It won’t even mask it. Everything in your search history will be bright as day to anyone who sits at your computer or has admin privileges over your network. Good examples of the latter are your employers, school, etc.
So is DuckDuckGo completely private and off the grid? Absolutely not. They’re a private search engine, nothing more. They don’t have an impact on your browser and your search history. That’s up to the browser and the internet provider you’re using.
If you’d like to keep your search history private on DuckDuckGo, or any other site, you can do the following, no matter your choice of browser: use incognito mode. This is how you use the incognito mode in Chrome (again used as an example):
- Open Chrome on your device.
- Click on More (three vertical dots).
- Click on New Incognito Tab.
- That’s it, you’ve begun browsing incognito, with no tracks of your search history.
The steps might be slightly different for other browsers, but in essence, incognito mode is the same everywhere, in Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge, etc. There are numerous browser options to choose from, but most people use the ones we just mentioned.
Here’s an image you see the second you launch incognito mode in Chrome. It explains everything perfectly:
Even though this mode is neat because it doesn’t store your browsing history, site data, and cookies on your computer, a lot of people can still access this information, i.e. your ISP, employer, school, and the websites you visited.
DuckDuckGo Is Not So Private But
DuckDuckGo isn’t as private as some people think, but it’s still very good. It will prevent ad tracking, i.e. placement ads targeting you based on your search history. Also, it limits data profiling and prevents big corporations from knowing all about you from your search history.
DuckDuckGo also doesn’t store or sell your data to interested buyers. If you think Google is as innocent, you’re naïve, my friend. Getting those spooky ads just as you talked about something or searched for it online isn’t a coincidence.
Internet privacy is very vulnerable, if it even exists in the modern age. Using a private search engine simply doesn’t cut it anymore. You need more firepower in your arsenal. You need a VPN service.
The Best VPN
If you want real anonymity and privacy on the internet, then you simply must get a VPN service. There are many of them out there, some of which are totally free. Absolutely avoid these, as they do more harm than good.
The absolute best VPN providers out there are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. They use heavy encryption and mask your tracks perfectly. These two are very fast, reliable, have thousands of servers around the globe, and aren’t that expensive.
Both of these VPNs work on multiple devices, operating systems, and routers. You can mask your entire browser history across all your device and nobody will be able to see it. Sure, you can use a VPN in combination with private search engines such as DuckDuckGo for maximum protection.
Truth be told, with a VPN, you don’t really need it, but it’s smart to have several layers of protection.
There Is No Privacy
On the internet, nobody is safe. Everything is transparent, and information is incredibly easy to breach. Your best way of protecting your privacy is with a trusted VPN service. DuckDuckGo can be a nice addition, but on its own, it’s a flimsy shield.
You can easily see your browsing history on DuckDuckGo, the same as Google. The only difference is, DuckDuckGo won’t store or sell your browsing data. What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments section below.