How Search Engines and Other Websites are Tracking You

Search Encrypt believes that tracking your location and who you are emailing is very intrusive. However, what you search for is another beast completely. This information reveals what you’re interested in, what you’re curious about, even what you think about those things. We’re explaining how websites and trackers follow you around the web.

How Do Websites Track Users?

1st & 3rd Party Cookies

Sites use first-party cookies to track users who visit their pages. They then uses third-party cookies to follow you around the web once you leave their page. This article by David Bisson is a great explanation of how different websites use cookies and how first- and third-party cookies compare: What’s The Difference Between First- and Third-Party Cookies? |


Websites also track users with a technology called “fingerprinting”. This technique allows websites to look at the characteristics of your computer, like the plugins and software you have installed, the size of your screen, your time zone and more. While cookies may make people uncomfortable, fingerprinting may be just as bad. While users can easily block cookies by changing their browser settings, fingerprinting trackers are harder to ditch.


If you are logged in to your Gmail account while searching Google, not only can it track you with cookies and fingerprinting, it can link your searches to your Gmail account. The issue that we see with this, is that it connects your browsing behavior to your name and other personal contact information.

Google – Maps Suggestions

If you view your activity on Google, the search history may be the least concerning. If you look deeper and see that Google also tracks your location history, that can be shockingly creepy. CEO of AdStack, Evan Reiser says, “there is a pretty fine line between cool and creepy.” Where you draw that line is up to you, but just know that there is a high chance that Google is tracking you. Read about how to clear your data from Google here.

Search Encrypt is an Private Search Engine

If you want to minimize the tracking of your searches, consider switching to Search Encrypt, the privacy based search engine. There are private alternatives to nearly any service online. Changing to a private search engine is an incredibly easy transition towards protecting your information online. We also offer a browser extension that will protect your searches. Search Encrypt’s extension redirects your searches to its private search engine and keeps your search terms and other data encrypted.

Read more about Search Encrypt: Learning More About Search Encrypt.

Private Search Engines Don’t Track Your Searches or Your Browsing Behavior

Our product is built specifically for privacy, so without privacy our product is useless. Using SSL encryption combined with perfect forward secrecy, we make sure your information stays private.

Search Encrypt uses encryption to hide your search history from others who may use your device after you search. This may save you from some embarrassing situations. We do not request, log, or share your personal information. Search Encrypt doesn’t connect our users’ searches to complex data profiles.

Does Search Encrypt Actually Offer Better Results?

Search engines that track you claim to deliver better search results by tracking you and returning results based on your past behavior and other information. The founder and CEO of Million Short, another alternative search engine says, “search is too important of a function to be controlled by a handful of companies, and I don’t believe the science and art behind searching has been perfected.”

Search Encrypt is an alternative search engine, and because we want to minimize intrusive tracking, your search results aren’t influenced by your past behavior. This gives you a more objective view of the internet and avoids filter bubbles, among other issues. Because internet users are currently putting so much power in a few companies’ hands, changing the landscape of internet search is a difficult battle.

2 thoughts on “How Search Engines and Other Websites are Tracking You”

  1. I think the websites track you and advertise things on websites you were on based on things you’re interested in buying, it’s very clever! But Search Encrypt is average, it only lists average websites. But if it protects your privacy it’s a good website.

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