5 smart tips to keep your online searches private and secure.

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

A virtual private network, or VPN,  hides your IP address and your location, and it’s the most effective way of keeping yourself private online.

Google processes over 40,000 searches every single second, according to InternetLiveStats.com. Did you know that there are some things you should never search for? Tap or click for seven Google searches that can land you in serious trouble.

For your more embarrassing or private queries, you may think you’re protecting yourself entirely with incognito mode, but that only goes so far. Tap or click here to see what incognito mode is really good for and what it can’t do.

Let’s take a closer look at the privacy options available to you. This post should be required reading for anyone in today’s digital age. So, be sure to share it out on your social media accounts.

1. Know what private windows do

In most browsers, select File > New Private Window or hit the three-dot menu near the search bar to open a new incognito or private window. Here’s where a lot of people fall for this privacy myth.

Don’t make a mistake and think this privacy feature blocks what you search or sites you visit from your internet provider, work or school, or even a search engine. A private window only wipes out local data like your search history, cookies, and anything you entered into a form.

RANKING: Best browsers for privacy, from easy to use to most customizable.

2. Stop searching using Google

If you don’t want to be tracked, use an alternative to Google.

StartPage calls itself “the world’s most private search engine.” The Netherlands-based company pays Google for the use of its search algorithm but strips out the tracking and advertising that usually comes along with it. You get a Google-like experience, along with the promise that your data will never be stored, tracked, or sold.