Frequently Asked Questions
Search Encrypt is a private search engine. It uses encryption locally and on our servers to keep your search terms private. Without this encryption anyone monitoring your network, your ISP and anyone with access to your computer could see your search terms. After you've finished searching with Search Encrypt, the encryption key that lets you see your search term will expire. This means your search term is essentially gone forever.
After seeing the problems with the most popular search engines on the internet, Search Encrypt's creators saw the value in providing a privacy-friendly search tool. While search engines like Google offer extremely convenient and user-friendly results, all of this is a result of their massive data collection efforts. Search Encrypt, unlike Google, doesn't collect and store any information for advertising purposes.
In general, private search engines are search engines that don't track users and their behavior. These search engines may use encryption and other anonymization methods to keep their users searches and identities private.
There are a number of private search engines available to anyone using the internet. Each search engine has its own unique features and privacy protection measures, but all are focused on keeping users' searches confidential. Search Encrypt is focused on keeping your searches private from the major search engines which use your search data for advertising, other people who may use your computer, and anyone monitoring your network.
Other private search engines are focused on protecting your privacy, but only from other search engines, or targeted ads. Search Encrypt was created with privacy-by-design, so privacy is built-in to the core functionality of the search engine. As a result, Search Encrypt can protect your searches and your personally identifiable data from more angles than other search engines.
Search Encrypt is a search engine, so it's used to find websites and information on the internet. It's a private search engine so people rely on Search Encrypt for sensitive searches that they don't want other people to know about. People also use Search Encrypt to avoid seeing ads everywhere they go for something they've searched for recently.
Avoiding Annoying Ads
It can be annoying if you search for something you aren't interested in, but you had another reason to look it up. You may then see tons of ads for that thing, even if you aren't interested in buying it.
Hiding Sensitive Searches
There are a number of reasons you may want to keep your searches private. You may have a health condition that you don't want other people, or your search engine to know about. A private search engine, like Search Encrypt, lets you research topics without revealing sensitive details about yourself.
Limiting Google's Power
Data companies are growing more and more powerful all the time, and the data they collect is more and more specific and complex. Google is the leader in data collection and use for advertising purposes. Because they have so much information about billions of people, they have a huge advantage over any other company when it comes to internet advertising. By limiting the data that you give to Google, you can minimize the impact that the company can have on you personally.
Search Encrypt is available as a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Our extension makes using Search Encrypt easier by setting your default search engine to Search Encrypt and redirecting your non-private searches to our private search engine.
This makes our search tool much more convenient by eliminating extra steps you would otherwise have to take to search privately. One of the reasons people don't use private search engines is because it requires an extra step, while Google is built directly into your browser.
Search Encrypt is not software that you download and install on your computer. It is a browser extension only. If you are installing software on your computer that isn't a browser extension it is not our product.
To Install Search Encrypt on Google Chrome:
- In your Chrome browser go to chrome://extensions/
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Get more extensions”
- Search for “search encrypt” (Or just visit this page)
- Next to Search Encrypt select “+ Add to Chrome”. You will be prompted to Add Search Encrypt
- Select Add extension. Now you’ve added Search Encrypt to Chrome.
To Install Search Encrypt on Mozilla Firefox:
- Select Add-Ons in the Firefox menu, or go to about:addons.
- Click on Extensions, which will navigate you to a list of your extensions with a search field at the top.
- Search for “search encrypt”
- Next to Search Encrypt select “Install”. You will be prompted to Add Search Encrypt.
- Select Add. Search Encrypt has been added to Firefox.
If you decide that you no longer want to use Search Encrypt's browser extension, all you have to do is remove the extension from your browser. This is a quick and easy process.
How To Remove Search Encrypt from Google Chrome:
- Click the Chrome menu button in the top right corner of the browser window.
- Click “More tools”
- Click “Extensions”
- Click on the trash can icon next to Search Encrypt
- Click “Remove” on the pop up dialog box
How To Remove Search Encrypt from Mozilla Firefox:
- Click on the “Open menu” button in the top right side of the browser
- Click “Add-ons”
- Click “Extensions”
- Click “Remove” on the “Search Encrypt” browser extension
How To Temporarily Pause Search Redirection
If you want to stop Search Encrypt from redirecting your searches, you can do so in the Search Encrypt menu. You can do this if you can't find what you're looking for on Search Encrypt and need to use Google or another search engine.
Click on the Search Encrypt icon in the top right corner of your browser window, you will see the following menu:
Now, select “Stop Redirecting Searches”, which allows you to quickly pause the extension. Then you can search with Google, Bing, or another search engine that we would otherwise redirect, if you’d like.
Another option is to choose “Settings”. From Settings, you will be taken to this menu. ⤵️
If you want to personalize your experience while using our tool, you can choose to not redirect searches from the above list.
Search Encrypt does not track your search history and use that information to determine which results you see for a given search. Search engines like Google use what you've searched for in the past, which websites you visit most often, and a number of other data points to personalize your search results. This leads to you only being exposed to the information you're most likely to click on and interact with, even if it's not the most accurate or complete source of information.
This is called a "filter bubble".
Since Search Encrypt doesn't track your search history in a data profile about you, it does not and cannot personalize your search results. This gives you more objective, neutral and unfiltered results.
Filter bubbles refer to intellectual isolation that results from personalized searches on search engines or social media sites. As a result, users become separated from most information that presents an opposing viewpoint. These bubbles are associated with search engines and social media websites that use algorithms to display certain content specifically for you.
Why Are Filter Bubbles Bad?
If you are constantly exposed to specific information that an algorithm decides you are most interested in, your views will begin to solidify in those particular perspectives. If you visit conservative news sites regularly and if you search for political issues you are likely to see conservative news and information sources in your results.
People on the other side of the political spectrum will experience the same effect but drawing them towards left-leaning information sources. As a result people develop polarized political views and any discourse or discussion becomes more and more difficult.
Read More: What are Filter Bubbles & How To Avoid Them?
There is sometimes confusion about the difference between a search engine and a browser. It's easy to get these confused if you're using Google Chrome and then your homepage pops up as Google's search engine.
No. Search Encrypt is not a browser. Search Encrypt is a search engine that you can use in your browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
Our product is not a virus or malware. Viruses are created to harm computer systems and their users, while our goal is to protect you by encrypting your search terms and keeping them private and hidden from anyone who gains access to your computer, or even our servers.
If you have decided you no longer want to use Search Encrypt, you can easily remove our browser extension from your browser.
Read More: How to Remove Search Encrypt
- Turn On Encryption on Your Wi-Fi Router (Password Protect Your Network)
- Use a VPN
- Use HTTPS Everywher
- Use Encrypted Messaging Services
Read More: How To Encrypt Your Internet Connection
Privacy is important for a number of reasons. Primarily, it matters because without privacy other people or companies can very easily use your information against you.
How Is Your Information Used Against You?
- Real-time Price Targeting
- Internet Advertising/Marketing
- Social Credit Systems
- Influence of Buying Behavior and Political Ideology
Daniel Solove's 10 Reasons Why Privacy Matters
- Limit on Power
- Respect for Individuals
- Reputation Management
- Maintaining Appropriate Social Boundaries
- Control Over One’s Life
- Freedom of Thought and Speech
- Freedom of Social and Political Activities
- Ability to Change and Have Second Chances
- Not Having to Explain or Justify Oneself
Read More: Why You Should Take Your Privacy Seriously
Tracking is any method that websites or other organizations use to collect data about where you go and what you do on the internet.
The websites that track you use three main methods: cookies, fingerprinting, and beacons. Websites may identify you with your login credentials, unique device identifiers or your IP address. Once a site determines your identity, it then assembles all the information it collects about you in a data profile.
Read More: What is Tracking & How To Avoid It?
Incognito Mode works to hide your browsing behavior locally on your device. However, Incognito Mode does almost nothing to hide your browsing behavior from the sites you visit or your ISP.
This is a problem because "incognito" gives users the impression that they are browsing anonymously. There needs to be a better disclosure that Incognito Mode will keep your browsing history private on your device but that's about it.