Lately, major search engines like Google (News - Alert), Bing and Yahoo, Internet service providers (ISPs), and many websites you visit are keeping track of your searches. Hence your searches are no longer private. In other words, the users today do not have the freedom to move about the Internet without someone looking over their shoulder. To address this privacy problem, former Google and NSA engineers have jointly developed software to protect your searches.
This service has been launched by security software startup Disconnect Search, co-founded by ex-Google executive. It allows users to easily keep searches private without having to change their behavior. According to the developers, unlike other private search solutions, Disconnect Search was designed so people can continue to use the web's most popular search engines. The patent-pending technology also enables users to conduct private searches seamlessly through their browser's omnibox or address bar, said Disconnect.
In a statement, Disconnect co-founder Casey Oppenheim, said, “There aren't many things more personal than what you search for online." "But your searches are anything but private -- search engines, and even websites and Internet service providers, can save your searches and connect them to your real name through your user accounts," added Oppenheim.
According to Disconnect CTO and former NSA engineer Patrick Jackson, search engines and many websites typically save your searches and connect them to an IP address, which can allow companies to uniquely identify your computer.
The newly launched Disconnect Search service protects users' privacy in four ways. First, the search queries are routed through Disconnect's servers, which makes the queries look like they're coming from Disconnect instead of a specific user's computer. Second, search engines are prevented from passing keywords to the sites that are visited from search results pages. Third, all queries are encrypted, which prevents ISPs from seeing them. And lastly, Disconnect does not log any keywords, personal information, or IP addresses.
In short, key features offered by Disconnect Search include native results, familiar experience, and privacy everywhere. Thus, allowing users to stay private all the time, from anywhere while getting results from their favorite search engine through their omnibox or address bar.
Edited by Ryan Sartor