Is DuckDuckGo Safe in 2024? Full Guide (2024)

DuckDuckGo is a safe search engine that is valued by privacy and security protectors due to its strict privacy policy and transparent data processing methods. Known for its commitment to user privacy, DuckDuckGo does not track or collect your online activities or personal information, unlike other popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

It actively blocks known Internet surveillance trackers and IP address trackers. It provides a secure search experience that is convenient and easily accessible through its iOS, Mac, and Android apps, as well as Google Chrome extensions and direct access to websites. Despite these robust privacy protections, it is important to recognize that absolute privacy and security are not achievable, and users should remain cautious of potential privacy risks.

In this article, we will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of DuckDuckGo’s privacy measures and offer tips on how to increase your online security while using this search engine. If you’ve been wondering if DuckDuckGo does keep its privacy promises and what steps you can take to ensure your protection, keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents

Proof that DuckDuckGo is Safe

DuckDuckGo demonstrates its security by adhering to strict rules that protect the privacy of user data. These measures prevent the sharing of browser history or personal information with third parties, avoid cookie tracking, and maintain transparency about data usage. These are the key reasons why DuckDuckGo is considered a safe search engine.

DuckDuckGo does not share your browsing history

DuckDuckGo keeps your search queries private by ensuring they are not shared with online content providers. The search engine sends your search requests to websites on your behalf, so the sites you visit do not know your identity. It uses end-to-end encryption to deliver content securely. DuckDuckGo anonymizes search queries to analyze trends and provide relevant content without compromising privacy.

To further protect your location, it spoofs the exact location by using only approximate data that is not logged on their servers. Since DuckDuckGo does not track your browsing history and does not associate searches with your IP address, you avoid personalized ads and enjoy unbiased search results. The Privacy Essential extension, available for Chrome, also blocks intrusive ads and reinforces DuckDuckGo’s no-logs policy. This extension lets you use Chrome as usual while integrating DuckDuckGo’s privacy features, ensuring a more secure and ad-free browsing experience.

DuckDuckGo does not sell your personal information

According to DuckDuckGo’s policy, they state unequivocally: “We have never sold any personal information. Period.” This emphasizes their commitment to user privacy. DuckDuckGo browser is transparent about its data practices. When you visit DuckDuckGo, your device automatically sends information such as IP address, browser type, and language to establish a connection. However, DuckDuckGo uses this data temporarily to confirm your legitimacy and provide the requested content without sharing your IP address or unique identifiers with the websites you visit.

When using additional features, such as email security, DuckDuckGo may request additional personal information necessary for the functioning of the feature. The Company assures users that only the essential data is required and used exclusively for this purpose. Users are always informed about the specific data necessary for a particular feature and given the opportunity to opt out. DuckDuckGo is safe and does not track or store user data, keeping only the necessary information for basic functions such as spell-checking and search suggestions. This strict adherence to privacy protects user information from being sold or misused.

DuckDuckGo does not track your cookies

DuckDuckGo is safe and allows you to configure your search settings so that only anonymous cookies are used for storage. You can also modify search settings using anonymous URL parameters and take advantage of features that remove tracking parameters from URLs. While the platform may use your browser’s storage for anonymous settings changes or the device’s local storage for anonymous display settings, it ensures that no identifiable information about you or your searches is stored. DuckDuckGo uses only the necessary storage to enable certain features to function properly.

Additionally, DuckDuckGo sends a legally binding request to websites not to collect or sell user data, providing more enforceable privacy than standard Do Not Track (DNT) requests.

What are the drawbacks of DuckDuckGo?

While DuckDuckGo browser is safer than other major search engines, it does have its limitations. Although it can hide your searches from third parties, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see that you are using the DuckDuckGo browser. Also, it cannot protect you from malicious websites, here is why:

ISP still sees your IP address

While DuckDuckGo is safe and prevents your IP address tracker from being disclosed to third parties, it cannot hide it from your ISP. All data exchanged between your device and the Internet must pass through your device’s IP address, which allows your ISP to see that you are using DuckDuckGo. However, DuckDuckGo ensures that your ISP can only detect your connection to the search engine, not your specific search queries.

DuckDuckGo allows you to optionally share approximate locations to localize results. Although it does not transmit specific data such as IP address or personally identifiable information, this feature may raise privacy concerns for some users.

Vulnerability to malware risks

As with any other online tool, DuckDuckGo is vulnerable to viruses, malware, and other online threats that may be hidden behind websites or links that appear to be legitimate. Although DuckDuckGo tries to filter out malicious search results, no search engine can provide complete protection against malicious sites.

In addition, DuckDuckGo’s encryption does not apply to data stored on your device, which remains accessible and can be tracked.

Lack of protection on other websites

Although DuckDuckGo does not track your information, external websites may still collect data if you provide them with personal information. Because DuckDuckGo does not collect your data, it cannot offer personalized results such as automated suggestions or local listings. While DuckDuckGo helps you navigate the Internet safely, its protection ends as soon as you enter a website. From that point on, the site’s privacy policy applies, leaving you vulnerable to IP address trackers and intrusive ads.

DuckDuckGo vs Google: which is safer?

When comparing the security of DuckDuckGo vs Google, the DuckDuckGo browser is considered a more private and secure option. DuckDuckGobrowser provides a transparent search experience by not tracking or logging your searches or creating your profiles, resulting in unbiased search results. The lack of tracking means that it is not known how many people are using DuckDuckGo, but it also means that users are protected from personalized ads and potential data leaks.

In contrast, Google, being the most popular search engine with a huge index of websites and advanced features such as Google Maps and Google Drive, creates user profiles and tailors search results based on their search history. This can lead to intrusive ads and raises concerns about data collection and security. Google’s extensive data collection includes search history, location data, and device information, which has been a target for attackers over the years. DuckDuckGo browser, on the other hand, uses encrypted connections to protect searches and does not show personalized ads, providing a more private and less intrusive experience.

However, it has a smaller website index and fewer advanced features, which may be a disadvantage for some users. Ultimately, if privacy and security are your primary concerns, DuckDuckGo is a definite winner. But if you need comprehensive search capabilities and advanced features, Google may be a better fit. Regardless of your choice in DuckDuckGo vs Google, taking extra steps to protect your privacy and online security is essential.

How to increase your privacy on DuckDuckGo?

As it has already been mentioned, DuckDuckGo excels in privacy with several key features. The browser doesn’t track your search history or personal information, maintaining your anonymity by not storing personal data. Its browser and extensions block third-party trackers, preventing companies from following you online. DuckDuckGo enforces website encryption to enhance security and provides a Privacy Grade to inform users about websites’ privacy practices. While DuckDuckGo offers excellent privacy features, there’s always room for improving your online security.

One effective way to do this is to use a virtual private network (VPN) with DuckDuckGo. A VPN reroutes your internet traffic through a secure server, encrypting your data and hiding your IP address from third parties and your ISP. This ensures that no one can monitor your online activities, including different service providers.

For additional protection, use anti-malware tools such as Threat Protection. These tools block malicious websites, web trackers, and intrusive ads before they can load on your device. Threat Protection encompasses security strategies to safeguard systems, networks, and data from various cyber threats. It includes real-time monitoring and alerts, malware and ransomware defense, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), phishing protection, and data encryption. This comprehensive approach ensures that even if a DuckDuckGo search leads you to a malicious site, you will be warned and protected from potential threats.

To increase your privacy while using DuckDuckGo, pair it with a trusted VPN like ZoogVPN to create a secure online environment. At ZoogVPN, we provide a comprehensive VPN service at the most competitive rates available. This combination perfectly encrypts all of your online activities, protecting your data from ISPs, Wi-Fi administrators, and hackers, ensuring that your traffic remains private.

Why use a VPN with DuckDuckGo

Using a VPN with DuckDuckGo enhances your online privacy and security beyond what DuckDuckGo alone can offer. While the DuckDuckGo browser provides a more secure and private search experience than Google because it does not track or log your searches, it does not protect you from all online threats, such as government surveillance, social media trackers, or cyber criminals. A VPN, such as ZoogVPN, encrypts your data and hides your real IP address, protecting your activities from prying eyes.

Connecting to ZoogVPN ensures that your data is encrypted and your device is assigned a different IP address, providing an extra layer of security. This combination allows you to enjoy DuckDuckGo’s private search results while still enjoying the protection of a VPN against trackers and cyber threats.

DuckDuckGo can increase your privacy while searching, but you need a VPN for comprehensive protection. ZoogVPN offers advanced encryption, ad blocking, and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activity remains private. With ultra-fast browsing speeds and availability on up to 10 devices simultaneously, ZoogVPN is a user-friendly and secure solution. It is also affordable, making it ideal for those who want to maximize their online privacy while using DuckDuckGo.

About ZoogVPN

ZoogVPN is a comprehensive and reliable all-in-one VPN service designed to protect your sensitive personal and financial information online with a highly encrypted VPN tunnel. By adhering to the most advanced security standards, ZoogVPN allows you to browse the Internet privately and securely. With access to a global VPN network covering more than 100 servers, you can enjoy reliable protection and fast VPN connections around the world. Easily unblock any website by connecting to servers in different countries.

Setting up with ZoogVPN is a pleasure: just install the app, click the “Connect” button, and you’re ready to go.

Enjoy unlimited secure browsing with ZoogVPN.

  • Is DuckDuckGo Safe in 2024? Full Guide (1)

    Anastasiia Pryimachenko

    Anastasiia is a Kyiv-based staff writer for ZoogVPN, passionate about technology development and skilled with writing skills across diverse platforms, contributing insightful pieces to academic magazines and tech-oriented websites. Her ultimate goal is to confidently blend creative thinking to create impactful projects.

Is DuckDuckGo Safe in 2024? Full Guide (2024)

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