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This article was published on February 6, 2010

How to blackmail your boss – privately.

How to blackmail your boss – privately.
Charles Knight
Story by

Charles Knight

Charles Knight is the editor of The Next Web Search. Charles Knight is the editor of The Next Web Search.

startpage_logo_10So, you want to blackmail your boss, but you don’t want to be caught searching the web for ideas on how to do it? Easy, do what I did and go to privacy search engine startpage (or ixquick in the E.U.) before you start your searching.

If you use any other search engine, well, you deserve to get found out. According to startpage, “every time you use a regular search engine, your search data are recorded. Your search terms, the time of your visit, the links you choose, your IP address and your User ID cookies all get stored in a database,” and if you’re planning to do something illegal like blackmail, that’s the last thing you need to worry about. (Note: search engine startpage does not endorse these types of searches…)


OK, how does this work? Look at the example above. If I click on the link, I will be taken directly to that site where they can record my illicit visit. BUT, if I click on the link that says “proxy,” then startpage visits that site, retrieves the results, and returns them to me. My search terms are only known to startpage, and they promise to delete them – not in 48 hours, not at the end of the day, but instantly. Poof! No record of my dubious activities.

katherineNow in all seriousness, much of the brains (and the beauty) behind startpage’s devotion to protecting your privacy is due to their director of US Media Relations and Marketing Initiatives Dr. Katherine Albrecht. She is an expert in the privacy arena, with a decade of experience as a researcher and activist. She is also a bestselling author and most importantly, a syndicated radio host.

During my call with Katherine, she very kindly invited me onto her radio show on Friday, February 19th from 5-6pm EST. I will be reprising my Web2.0 Expo NYC presentation, “100 search engines in 100 minutes,” but we’ll only focus on the most interesting ones as time allows. I hope that you can tune in, here’s the link to the show. Please put it on your calendar now!

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