I’m taking a look at a relatively new search engine, Search Encrypt. It is a privacy based search engine, comparable to DuckDuckGo and StartPage.
How Does Search Encrypt Work?
According to Search Encrypt’s “About” page, this is what happens when a user performs a search:
- Search Encrypt checks the URL of each website you visit (this data is not logged or stored anywhere).
- For your privacy, Search Encrypt intercepts the requests if it’s on our list of sites.
- Search Encrypt encrypts your search locally using industry standard AES-256 encryption.
- Your locally encrypted search term is securely transmitted to our servers.
- To provide you with the most relevant results possible, we then decrypt your search term and securely request results from our search & content partners.
- We aggregate the most relevant results and securely display them to you.
- For added security, your local browsing history for any search we protect expires and cannot be viewed after 15 minutes of inactivity.
History of Search Encrypt
The search engine started in April 2016. Two entrepreneurs who were tired of being followed around the web by trackers and ads decided they needed something better. Since its founding, Search Encrypt has added many new features, including a Chrome extension and improvements in search results.
2017 was a fantastic year for private search engines. Search Encrypt saw major increases in traffic and searches. It’s Alexa ranking improved drastically following April 2017. It is now the 1691st most visited website in the world.
Search Encrypt’s User Privacy
I’ve been writing about privacy a lot recently. ( I’m actually a “Top Writer” on Medium for privacy.) A few topics I have covered are IoT devices, user tracking and privacy based browser extensions. It’s been a new experience for me following a topic that I haven’t previous been interested in. I’ve found some influencers in the privacy realm and enjoy learning from them. Privacy is an interesting niche, because of the range of people it attracts.
There are programmers that recognize how powerful software and computers can be in following the people that use them. These people want to protect themselves while using the internet and connected devices. Then there are people, young and old, that are skeptical in general about technology. Their defense to user-tracking or hackers is simply to abstain from using computers, or even cellphones in some cases.
The people interested in privacy that still have an online presence always look into the deepest corners of a product or service. These people know that a product is safe because they have verified for themselves.
Search Encrypt and Privacy
Search Encrypt is a cool product because it protects users from tracking, filter bubbles, and other online threats. It protects users from potentially having their Google accounts hacked and, as a result, a lot more information.
Private search engines will continue to grow as the concerns surrounding digital privacy and the right to privacy grow.