If you’re still using Google as your default search engine? You’re not a user, you’re a commodity.
If you’re already convinced, feel free to scroll down where I show you how to change your default search engines in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
You are worth $15
Google just paid Apple $15 billion dollars to remain the default search engine on iPhone. That’s not a typo, that’s billion with a B.
Which means that if the latest stats are to be believed, and there are 1 billion iPhone users, then each user is worth $15 to Google.
That’s how much your data is worth. And boy is it juicy. That weird mole you had on your arm. That speeding ticket you were trying to get out of. That band you wanted to go see, live in concert. All of it typed straight into Google’s search engine.
Oh yes, they gave you the results. From WebMD, or Ticketmaster, or wherever, and they did it with a smile. A smile that subtly belied the fact that they would then turn around and sell your information.
Not just the ads on the top of the search results, but targeted, sponsored ads based on your interests and queries. And since most people sign in to their Google accounts before searching, that data is inextricably tied to you.
Regain some modicum of privacy
There’s no silver bullet to solve the privacy issue. But simply switching to Duck Duck Go as your default search engine can regain some of the lost privacy.
The search results are still excellent, typically matching Google’s. And while they do show ads, the ads are related only to the keywords you type on THAT specific search, and not your account as a whole.
Here’s how to change your default search engine:
Go to Preferences -> Search -> Default Search Engine and select DuckDuckGo from the list.
Go to Preferences -> Search engine -> Search engine used in the address bar and select DuckDuckGo.
Go to Preferences -> Search -> Search engine and select DuckDuckGo.