Technology Tip: DuckDuckGo.com
For Parents and Students who want to limit data and personally identifiable information gathered on you when surfing the web, trade in your current browser for DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google and Bing, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you online, your history and searches, linking them back to you. It also won’t give you targeted ads or biased results based on your private searches. Of course, that will limit some of the features of the browser, but if privacy is your number one concern, then this is the best search engine to use.
If you want to try DuckDuckGo, do the following:
- Type in com (opens in new tab) into your current browser's address bar and enter your search query.
- Use it for a while and see if you like it. Once you're ready to make the switch, you can either select DuckDuckGo as your default search engine or add the appropriate app or extension to your browser.
- Chrome users have two options for using DuckDuckGo on the desktop. The simplest option, if you're looking only for the private search function, is to make DuckDuckGo the default search engine.
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Protect Your Data with a Good Password
A weak password is still one of the most common ways hackers break in.
Thanks to sophisticated "brute-force-attack" software readily available online, hackers can try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. For example, hacking software can guess a five-character password in under three hours. If you only use lowercase letters, it’s 11.9 seconds.
You know you need to have a better password than “password” or “letmein” if you have any hope of keeping hackers out of your computer, but what does a “strong” password mean?
A good password should be at least eight characters long (or longer!) and have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess. Using multiple phrases or sentences is even better. Don’t use dictionary words with proper capitalization because they’re easy to guess (like Password123#). Even though it meets the requirements we just discussed, it’s easily hacked; remember, hackers have sophisticated password-hacking software that will run 24/7/365.