Google: Five Searches You Should Avoid on Search Engine | Privacy

Avoiding certain searches on Google can be a good start to maintaining online privacy. According to the company's terms of use, keywords and search results may be informed to the websites visited, which implies extra care when searching with very personal information after all, your data may end up in the hands of third parties.

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According to searcher DuckDuckGo, the problem may be more serious. A study released by the company in late 2018 points out that the Internet giant tends to track a person even when they are not logged in or while browsing in anonymous mode, making it even harder to preserve identity on the web. Discover below what you should not do to protect your privacy when browsing.

See privacy tips for searching Google Photo: Divulgao / GoogleSee privacy tips for searching Google Photo: Divulgao / Google

See privacy tips for searching Google Photo: Divulgao / Google

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Avoid searching for serious illnesses or strong drugs. Even if the search is a mere curiosity or related to someone else, the information can be used by ad networks to profile you and dictate the advertising that will appear on the websites you visit. People who wish to hide a particular health condition, for example, may have the information revealed by a simple web banner.

In addition, it is not possible to predict the destination that personal data takes once it has been accessed by websites or even the search engine's business partners. A survey released in 2015 by Fast Company showed that medical information sites could leak up to 90% of sensitive data to third parties, not necessarily advertisers.

Google Can Track Searches to Refine Ads Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / dnetcGoogle Can Track Searches to Refine Ads Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / dnetc

Google Can Track Searches to Refine Ads Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / dnetc

2. Insecurities and Personal Conflicts

The same thought holds true when looking for solutions to personal problems on the Internet. Revealing mental conflicts, existential and insecure doubts to a site without proper protection can lead to a flood of advertisements about miracle diets of suspicious origin and self-help courses, for example. While seeing banner ads may be a fair match to Google's service, be aware that your personal information can be used to feed an increasingly detailed profile on ad networks.

3. Matters that raise suspicions of crime

Researching on weapons, drugs and other crime-related issues not only links your profile to something illegal, but can bring practical problems. In the United States, one employee was reported by the employer in 2013 for seeking keywords that, read out of context, were interpreted as terrorist behavior. The anti-terrorism climate in Brazil is not the same, but it is important to be extra careful when surfing public Wi-Fi on your next North America trip.

Google underwent polemic last year for tracking users without permission Photo: Bruno De Blasi / dnetcGoogle underwent polemic last year for tracking users without permission Photo: Bruno De Blasi / dnetc

Google underwent polemic last year for tracking users without permission Photo: Bruno De Blasi / dnetc

Google can very well estimate the user's location based on the phone's IP and GPS signal, but it needs extra data to find out exactly where you live or where you live. Not to note, anyone can easily give this information when researching objects, materials and the general environment of the surroundings. Even with location history turned off and no address information on Google Maps, trackers can cross search data to know not only your point on the map, but who your neighbors are and possibly who you live with.

5. Identity Information

Google does not provide registration data to third parties, but user privacy may not be protected if personal information is entered in a search. Ad networks try to link your digital profile to a real identity at all costs, which is made easier if the person himself or herself gives out an ID, passport or passport number in a web search. Therefore, avoid using these digits as keywords, especially on unfamiliar websites.

DuckDuckG, privacy-focused search engine, promises to collect personal data from users Photo: Reproduction / dnetcDuckDuckG, privacy-focused search engine, promises to collect personal data from users Photo: Reproduction / dnetc

DuckDuckG, privacy-focused search engine, promises to collect personal data from users Photo: Reproduction / dnetc

How to protect privacy

Restricting the type of search you do online is a way of limiting the activity of ad networks and data hunters in general. The less personal information is available to third parties, the more difficult Internet crawlers will have to identify a particular user and display personalized advertisements. In addition, it is a way to prevent sensitive information from falling into databases marketed by malicious websites in the illegal market.

It is also possible to take some steps to research every type of subject without headache. An alternative is to use DuckDuckGo, considered a searcher more concerned with user privacy, or browsers that fight crawlers, such as Firefox Focus. Extenses like Ghostery can help you do the same. For even more anonymity, another option is to use VPN with virtual machine or resort to ToR, browser more secure as user identity.

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