is duckduckgo safe

Is DuckDuckGo Safe? A Comprehensive Privacy Review

5 Mins Read

PUREVPNOnline PrivacyIs DuckDuckGo Safe? A Comprehensive Privacy Review

DuckDuckGo is a private search engine that focuses on providing users with online privacy and security. The search engine was launched on September 25, 2008, and doesn’t track your online activities, nor is it connected to Google’s advertising network.

Fun fact about DuckDuckGo: The company name refers to the children’s game duck, duck, and goose.

An Overview of DuckDuckGo

What sets DuckDuckGo apart from other search engines is that rival search engines bombard your screens with a search term’s ads. However, DuckDuckGo doesn’t display your search queries’ ads since it doesn’t record them, nor does it share it with advertisers.

Let’s say you searched for something embarrassing on a search engine like Google. The next thing you know, each site you visit will have a relevant ad displayed on the sides or between the content regarding that particular search term. With DuckDuckGo, you don’t have to worry about this since the search engine isn’t connected to an advertising network.


However, you will still see ads displayed on sites you visit, but the ads won’t be linked back to the searches you’ve made on the search engine. DuckDuckGo claims that it does not store IP addresses, does not log user information, and uses cookies only when required.

Privacy enthusiasts prefer DuckDuckGo as it doesn’t store your search history in a data profile like Google. While searching on DuckDuckGo, you can be rest assured that there are no tracks left behind, and the search engine wouldn’t be very private if it kept a collection of your search history.

DuckDuckGo’s Privacy

The current leadership and management at DuckDuckGo seem to be dedicated to maintaining user privacy, which is extremely important. However, if the company is sold, its privacy practices may change. It’s possible that the new management might change the privacy policy and start selling user data to the highest bidder.

Nonetheless, DuckDuckGo doesn’t plan on doing that, as can be seen from their commitment towards user’s online privacy. The search engine has taken years to build a strong privacy reputation, making it highly unlikely that the company will put that all at risk.

How DuckDuckGo Secures You

DuckDuckGo has developed algorithms in place that maintain your online privacy. Features such as search leakage protection and search history security are the most significant convincing pointers for using DuckDuckGo over other search engines.

Search Leakage

Search leakage is a common phenomenon. When you click a particular search result to go to a website, the site ends up sending your IP address, browser information, and search query terms to the website you’re visiting. This way, the website begins to learn an awful lot about you, such as the search terms you used to find them.

Since DuckDuckGo focuses on privacy, it fixes the search leakage issue in two simple ways.

  1. The website itself does not collect any personally identifiable information about you.
  2. When you click a particular search result, DuckDuckGo redirects your action in a way that prevents your search terms from getting sent to the website.

This way, all the websites will know is that a user visited them, but they won’t know how a particular user found them. This is particularly important to hide as the search terms can further target other users.

Online Search History

Apart from search leakage, there’s a significant concern regarding the misuse of your online search history. Every day search engines such as Google, Firefox, Opera, and others often collect your search history information and how you use them.

Information collected could include your search terms, the date and time of your searches, IP address, browser details, or even your online account details if you’re logged in with your email account.

This allows search engines to track and profile your online movements. In short, this practice leads to the personalization of your search results, meaning you are displayed search results and ads based on the things that you are particularly interested in. Although the results might not be the most relevant to you in the context of a particular search, you’ll still see them.

What’s worrisome is how your personal information and search history are collected and then shared with other entities. A search engine could purposely share your data with others to make money or have your data get compromised or stolen by hackers, or share it with law enforcement agencies upon their request. This can all be done without you ever knowing about it.

Does DuckDuckGo do the same?

Fortunately, there’s a browser that doesn’t do what most browsers are doing. DuckDuckGo doesn’t record your online activities, nor does it share it with third parties. It complies with law enforcement requests by simply not sharing anything since it hasn’t collected any of your personal/usage data at all.

It’s important to note that the search engine isn’t legally required to collect your information, which is great. Since DuckDuckGo doesn’t store any such data, there’s no risk of it leaking, losing it, or giving it to law enforcement agencies.

However, DuckDuckGo does collect some information to identify and track you as a unique user (such as your IP address or web browser specifications). Here’s more on the information DuckDuckGo stores on its servers:

  •         Search Queries – this is analyzed for correcting spellings and giving suggestions.
  •         Affiliate Codes – DuckDuckGo makes a living via commissions earned when products are sold due to someone searching for them on e-commerce websites (such as Amazon and eBay) or when a user clicks an advertisement on a website.
  •         Personal Information – this includes the information that you willingly share with DuckDuckGo. The best part about this is that it’s optional, and you can choose to be anonymous.

Comparison – DuckDuckGo vs. Google

Here’s a brief comparison of DuckDuckGo vs. Google:

Pros Privacy Dominating search engine
Easy to use Unmatched search queries
Growing in popularity Super convenient
Cons Not as good as Google Not privacy-centric
Tiny search market share Can be confusing for many
Going to continually catch up Isn’t always correct


Users who are concerned about their online privacy would likely lean towards and prefer DuckDuckGo. This is because, unlike Google, DuckDuckGo focuses on user’s online privacy. Simultaneously, the search engine is doing a great job displaying search queries, which works for most internet users.

Misconception about DuckDuckGo

The common misreading about the search engine is that it keeps your entire online traffic and online activities private and hidden from trackers. However, DuckDuckGo is not an all-inclusive privacy tool as when you visit websites via the search engine, you’re still going to another website that can track you.

The website won’t know who you are as you won’t be linked to the way Google profiles your digital identity, but the website will still be able to track you and collect your information. What this means is that your online connection is still not secure.

How to Browse the Web Privately and Securely

While you might think that not storing your personal information or sharing it with other entities is good enough of a reason to be considered online privacy, there’s more to it than just that.

Whether you make a search query on DuckDuckGo, Google, Opera, Firefox, or any other browser, the fact of the matter is that you’re going to do it via being connected to the internet. All your internet searches will route through your ISP to the greater internet.

The primary intention should be to encrypt and secure your online connection so that your online activities are safe from eavesdroppers and cybercriminals. Conducting financial transactions, sharing private files, accessing online accounts, and much more is all at risk if your internet connection is not secured with AES 256-bit encryption.

You must encrypt your internet connection to be secure on public and private Wi-Fi networks. Encryption is your online best friend that can keep you safe from online attacks. With encryption backing you up, you can be rest assured about your online privacy, security, and anonymity.

PureVPN provides robust encryption to secure your online activities. Once connected to PureVPN, your entire internet connection and communications on the web are encrypted, giving you peace of mind and a safe browsing experience.

Topics :




June 20, 2023


10 months ago

PureVPN is a leading VPN service provider that excels in providing easy solutions for online privacy and security. With 6000+ servers in 65+ countries, It helps consumers and businesses in keeping their online identity secured.

Have Your Say!!

Join 3 million+ users to embrace internet freedom

Signup for PureVPN to get complete online security and privacy with a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic.