It’s no secret that the major search engines keep track of every search you made and link you visited, so that they can serve up better ads. When you think about it, it’s quite freaky that Google knows so much about you. So how do you thwart these search engines from snooping on you? A new browser extension called Disconnect Search stops Google, Bing and Yahoo in their tracks.
Disconnect Search is made by the team at Disconnect.me, the extension that tells you which portals are trying to track you and blocks them from doing so. Disconnect Search is a web proxy that allows you to search privately using Google, Bing or Yahoo, without logging searches, IP addresses, or any other personal information.
Installing the extension lets you activate this protection for search queries from the browser extension’s window, the omnibar, or when you search anywhere — it’s all dependent on the options you choose.
Disconnect Search also protects you from your ISP by encrypting your search queries, whether the search engine has that ability or not. This prevents your ISP from accessing those and linking them to your account.
On the down side, it is a tad slower than searching directly on Google and disables advanced search features such as filters, image-only search, or instant recommendations. Also, since your information is not tracked at all, it prevents the search engine from giving more relevant information, such as showing cinemas near you that are playing the film you searched for.
Disconnect Search is currently available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, with versions for Opera and Internet Explorer in the pipeline. It will not be made for Safari due to Apple’s policies that conflict with the kind of proxy that is needed.