Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Search on Google anonymously

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Did you know that Google stores a unique identifier in a cookie on your PC, which allows them to track the keywords you search for? They use this information to compile reports, track user habits, and test features. This cookie is active for a period of 2 years (previously Google's cookie was set to expire on 2038!!) and all searches you make on Google for that period will be recorded and kept in their servers. It's creepy when you think of all those keywords you typed into Google being locked up in their hard disks. You can prevent Google from tracking you by flushing out your cookies everyday. But if you have enabled "Remember me" on sites where you frequently log into like your email account or a forum, those informations stored on cookies will be lost too.

There is software called GZapper that can scan your cookie folder and remove only those cookies and data that helps Google in keeping track of you. G-Zapper helps protect your identity and search history. G-Zapper will read the Google cookie installed on your PC, display the date it was installed, determine how long your searches have been tracked, and display your Google searches. G-Zapper allows you to automatically delete or entirely block the Google search cookie from future installation.

gzapper screenshot

With G-Zapper's automatic cookie detection, the Google cookie is automatically detected and deleted when you close all web browsers. You can simply run G-Zapper, minimize the window, and enjoy your enhanced search privacy.

In addition to blocking and deleting the Google search cookie, G-Zapper will also block Google Analytics from tracking the web sites you visit. Analytics is a program many web sites are using, which allows Google to record statistics of the pages you visit.

G-Zapper can also clean your Google search history in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. It's far too easy for someone using your PC to get a glimpse of what you've been searching for. By analyzing your searches, anyone can build an instant profile of your interests. G-Zapper clears your searches and allows you to use Google more anonymously.

If you don't want to use any software, then there is a web based service called Scroogle that can search on Google and display results without placing any cookie on your computer. Besides the log files are deleted withing 48 hours. No more snooping!!

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