More than ever these days people are suspicious of Google’s tracking abilities, and for good reason. Google has admitted that it does in fact track it’s users searches, but to what extent is the big question. If you are privacy conscious we have good news for you.
No matter how far-reaching Google’s tracking ability really is, Searchonymous that can stop them in their tracks. This Firefox addon offers complete privacy when searching the web, and you don’t have to logout of Google to use it.
This means full access to your Google search preferences, Gmail and YouTube settings without being tracked when searching. In this article we’ve outlined how to stay logged into your Google account yet still search Google anonymously.
Using Searchonymous in Firefox
The first step – adding Searchonymous to your Firefox browser. Just go to the download page for the extension here and on the download page, click the yellow button that says “Add to Firefox.”
Next, follow the installation prompts. No restart is required. Once the install is completed, a blue puzzle piece will briefly appear in the address bar at the far left end to let you know Searchonymous has been added to your browser.
There will also be no separate button for the extension.
Using Searchonymous for Google Searches
When using Searchonymous, it will always be a background affair. This extension works completely in the background. You’ll never have to adjust any settings, turn it on or off, etc. The only way you’ll know it’s up and running is by visiting the Google search homepage, as well as the lack of advertisements and clutter on the page which it also removes.
You stay logged into Google yet remain anonymous because of this extension, but when you visit Google.com, you’ll see a “Sign-in” link at the top of the page as if you weren’t logged in. This is how you know it’s working.
If at any time you want to remove Searchonymous, since you can’t turn off via a toolbar button, you’ll need to go into “Settings” to either disable or remove it completely.
While you can always use private browsing for anonymity when searching Google, it can’t offer the total privacy Searchonymous can. It literally scrambles your PREF-D cookies or generates random ones so you cannot be tracked. No other extension can do this except the No Cookie for Google search add-on, which this extension borrows code from.
While some mistakenly think Searchonymous redirects your search to an unknown developer’s proxy to hide your identity, it’s much more sophisticated, which is why many are excited about the abilities of this privacy-concerned extension.
Note: This extension has also been primarily reviewed by Mozilla.
Check it out: Searchonymous
For more ways to maintain your privacy in Firefox, check out our post – Better Privacy And Avoiding Web Tracking