Search: They Know Too Much, A Huge Privacy Risk

What you search for on the Internet reveals an incredible amount about you. Your interests, thoughts, political beliefs, desires, plans, and even your secrets. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others can practically read our minds.

As you surf the web, you carry with you a unique number called an IP address. Your IP address can can’t identify you as an individual all by itself, it can reveal the following things about you:

  • The name of your ISP (Comcast, for example)
  • Your zip and area codes.
  • Your approximate latitude and longitude (in some cases).

The real problem occurs when you register and sign-in to sites like Facebook, Gmail, Youtube, and almost anywhere else. Your personal details that these sites know about you are linked together with your IP address and stored in these companies’ databases. Now, to these companies at least, your IP can be used to identify you.  As if that weren’t enough, your web browser receives a “cookie” from these sites which can help track you even if your IP changes.

The vast majority of websites log each page you visit on their website, and several, like Google and Facebook collect data about your activity as you browse other sites as well. This information is appended to your profile to create a detailed picture of who you are, what you are thinking, your tastes and preferences, and often the most personal things about you.

Obviously, this information is very valuable to the companies and organizations who collect it. And to me, it’s more than a little creepy.

Search a Huge Privacy Risk

In 2014, there are many threats to our privacy, and the risks seem to grow by the day. Of all the companies you entrust with your digital activities to during your day (think websites you visit, email, phone calls and texts, and social networks), the big search companies like Google and Bing know more about you than anyone else.

You probably tell Google things about you that you don’t even tell your best friend.

Between knowing everything you’ve ever searched for, your intimate conversations within Gmail, and your location with your Android phone, it’s easy to feel like Google knows too much.

So we decided to take action. We made SearchLock to help you break a link in the chain and re-claim some of your privacy.

Meet SearchLock

If you feel like the big search companies know too much, SearchLock is for you.

SearchLock protects your privacy by intercepting and re-routing your web searches to our privacy safe search engine before anyone gets a chance to track your search queries.

What do we mean by “privacy-safe”? Your searches are encrypted using a strong 2048 bit SSL connection, your IP address is not connected to any personally identifiable information, and we do NOT log or store your searches on our servers.

We don’t know who you are, and we don’t know what you searched for. If someone ever did want to know, they would have to look elsewhere because we don’t keep records on you.

To make sure we give you high-quality search results, we use the same search index as Bing and Yahoo. Rest assured, neither your IP address nor your other personal details are passed through to them as you search.

Why is SearchLock a Browser Extension?

Some people have asked, “why a browser extension?” Our answer is that a browser extension is simply the easiest way for the average person to completely disable their searches from reaching the search engines that jeopardize their privacy.

It’s just much easier to add an extension to your browser than it is to fiddle with multiple settings deep in the guts of your browser.

It also allows us to make your searches even more secure. Soon we will be releasing new privacy protection features that are only possible with the help of an extension.

Come Join us

We realize that SearchLock is still young and that there are many improvements to be made. We are committed to having an open dialog with you and improving the service. This includes enhancing search results, the usefulness of the engine, adding highly requested features, and fixing bugs.

My team and I hope you’ll join us in our new community area. Your opinion matters and we want to hear your feedback.

Thank you for joining us. We look forward to helping you take back your privacy, one search at a time.

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