Privacy and convenience together in one simple search engine.
Privacy and convenience together in one simple search engine. Want to get the most protection and value out of using Startpage the world’s most private search engine? Here’s how!
As the search history you frequently delete will tell you, searching online is a very personal experience. Your search queries divulge information about your health and finances as well as other things that are your own personal business, and should stay that way. For that reason, it’s important to protect your personal information by using a private search engine like Startpage. Not only is it no secret that other search engines save your search history or track you, they blatantly take advantage of this by placing unwanted cookies or showing you ads that follow you all over the web. At Startpage, we go against the grain: we believe that people should not have to pay for access to online information with their personal data; therefore, we’ve built an easy-to-use private search engine that delivers the best results and doesn’t profile you.
All of that said, most people don’t always do what’s best for their security, when alternatives (like Big Tech search engines that earn Billions selling your personal data) are so accessible. It’s like knowing that vegetables and fruits are much healthier for you, but it’s Karen from accounting’s birthday at the office and that slice of six-layer confetti cake would be a way more delicious afternoon snack than a stick or two of carrots… Let’s face it: a lot people choose the option that’s convenient and instantly gratifying, rather than the one that’s better for them.
German-born, UK-dwelling psychologist and decision researcher, Eva Krockow explains that “Defaults are part of what behavioural economists call the choice architecture, which steers our decisions in specific directions.” By “defaults,” she means that users oftentimes don’t inquire how something works: they take it for granted that it will work and not do them any intentional harm. But harm means different things to different people, and today, many search engines believe that having access to your identity or search choices provides a “better user experience.” This is particularly dangerous in today’s world, where people are so overwhelmed by choice and access to information that they often just go with the flow instead of taking the time to manage their personal preferences, much less find out how those personal preferences are being used.
For that specific reason, we designed Startpage to make it incredibly easy to have the world’s best search privacy settings ON by default. We are laser-focused on not just providing the world’s most private search engine, but also ensuring we deliver the best search results. With you in mind, we’ve designed an intuitive search experience whilst continuously innovating features to help you find what you’re looking for faster, safer.
To help set you up with the most private search currently available, we’ve complied some easy-to-do hacks on how to personalize your private search engine settings to ensure you search in true privacy. Read on to learn about how to set yourself up on Startpage for success.
Installing the Startpage browser extension
To ensure that you have “always-on” search privacy AND to search with Startpage directly from your URL bar, we recommend installing our browser extension feature. The extension installation process could not be easier: simply decide which browser (Chrome, Brave or Firefox) you prefer and click the link below. In just a few steps, we’ll guide you through and you’ll be ready to go in seconds!
- Brave browser Startpage extension
- Chrome browser Startpage extension
- Firefox browser Startpage extension
Setting Startpage as your default homepage
To set Startpage as your browser’s default homepage, Startpage.com will appear each time you open a new window or tab. To make things easy, our insightful Support team has outlined step-by-step directions per each browser. Please click here for full instructions.
Startpage features “Instant Answers” which are summary results that helps get you the information you need without laboriously digging through web pages. When you search for certain keywords or combinations of search terms, Instant Answers will show you summary answers from Wikipedia, as well as specialized answers relating to flight schedules and weather.
One important way people use Instant Answers is for weather information. Critical localized weather results can be triggered at lightning-fast speeds (pardon the pun) by combinations of weather-related search terms and location identifiers. Examples of queries that can produce weather results:
- In English: forecast nyc
- Is it going to rain in 10001
- How is the weather in new york
- Weather NYC
Specifying your private search query
At Startpage we don’t use geotags. Geotags are a location marker using the IP of the device you’re searching with, and we think that if you don’t intentionally want to use them, they are a hidden violation of your privacy. We don’t need to know where you are or what you’re looking for, but this means that the more specific your search query is, the more exact your search results will be. For example, if you are looking for a coffee shop near you, it would be helpful to include your city and/or zip code in your query.
Personalizing and saving your Startpage settings
We want you to have the best experience using Startpage and search like nobody’s watching. To personalize Startpage to your liking, click on the Settings tab located in the top right corner of Statpage.com, users can adjust how they see the search engine and their results. Settings include:
- Theme (choices of Dark, Night, Air,)
- Language (what language do you want your results in)
- Server location (Europe, US, or closest)
- Family-filter (the default setting is Family-filter, but it can be turned off)
Startpage lets you save your settings through a privacy-friendly, 100% safe, generic settings cookie. The settings cookie is the only cookie Startpage uses (still more delicious than carrot sticks), and it is only created if you request it from the Settings page.
Alternatively, you can generate a Settings URL at the bottom of the Startpage Settings page. This eliminates the need to store a settings cookie. You can bookmark the settings URL or make it your homepage by saving the settings URL as your homepage or bookmarking, all of your preferences will be used the next time you visit Startpage.com. Details here.
It’s important to know that the Startpage settings cookie is anonymized and contains only preference settings information. It contains no unique ID number or other identifying or session information. To learn more about the Startpage settings cookie, and cookies in general, see here.
Privacy Pro Tip
It’s worth reminding you that each time you search on Startpage, we have NO idea who or where you are, so the more specific your search query is, the more exact your search results will be. For example, if you are looking for a shop that sells carrot sticks, or better, confetti cake, near you, be sure to include your city and/or zip code in your query!
Read the full article by Eva Krockow “Success by Default in 3 Simple Steps” Behavioural insights can help harness the surprising power of default options here.