If you were to describe yourself as being somewhat of a privacy or security-oriented user, then there’s a good chance you might have heard about DuckDuckGo.
is an Internet search engine that aims to be just as efficient as some of the world’s similar but more popular services while ensuring that your privacy stays untouched by blocking off filters and personalized search results.
We have to admit, the concept is pretty compelling, and up until this point in time, the company behind the project does have what most would call a spotless record. If you also feel that DuckDuckGo is worth your attention, then we would like to suggest checking out their bespoke Chrome extension called
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
As its name makes it quite apparent, the extension is developed by the same team behind DuckDuckGo, and it aims to provide you with all the necessary tools to always be in full control of how your personal information is handled while browsing.
More to the point, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials allows you to escape active ad tracking networks, increase your encryption protection, and search as privately as possible. The extension automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers (while showing you the culprits), forces sites to encrypt the connection (when available), and doesn’t allow search engines to get ahold of your personal info such as your financial, medical, political situation.
One of the best things about the extension is how simple it is, despite its complex underpinnings. As a user, you only interact with a polished little GUI that displays if the connection is encrypted or not, and how many trackers are found and blocked. You can also enable or disable the site privacy protection feature, manage a whitelist, as well as report broken sites.
The tool can be installed just like any other Chrome extension from the official Chrome Web Store without requiring any type of configuration on your part. Once launched, it integrates with Chrome’s toolbar via a small icon that also shows you a “privacy grade rating” when you visit websites. These ratings range from A to F, and the score is based on the prevalence of hidden tracker networks, encryption availability, and website privacy practices.
It’s quite refreshing to see a search engine that strives to distinguish itself from others of its kind by showing the utmost respect for user privacy. Not only that, but the company’s Chrome extension is something worth applauding since, if given the chance, we’re sure it will help increase the level of “trust” in the online world.