Internet security and privacy

I was asked about internet security and was unsure my reply was valid.
I use Linux mint with chromium and Google as my search engine mainly out of habit also I don’t do anything risky or of interest to anyone else, so no worries.
But the question was about security, the person asking said they use a different browser and a different search engine to hide from Google.
Yes this person is electro sensitive switch’s WiFi off, and is worried about spying from big brother…
If I use tor browser on mint is that secure or can it be traced
If I use tails and tor is that more secure
But then what search engine
Don’t worry I don’t have any plans of a dark nature just wanted to be able to answer the question asked of me

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Hi Paul, :wave:

these are very interesting questions. So much so that I did a little research on the matter myself (admitteldly with some help of ChatGPT :blush: ).

Using the Tor Browser on Linux Mint, or any other operating system, provides a higher level of privacy and anonymity compared to regular browsers.

The Tor Browser is designed to route your internet traffic through the Tor network, which helps mask your IP address and browsing activity. However, it’s important to note that while Tor can enhance your privacy, no technology can provide 100% anonymity or security.

Here’s a breakdown of the scenarios you mentioned:

1. Using Tor Browser on Linux Mint:

Using the Tor Browser on Linux Mint is generally secure and can provide a good level of anonymity.
Your internet traffic will be encrypted and routed through multiple volunteer-operated servers, making it much harder for anyone to trace your online activities back to your IP address.
However, it’s important to follow best practices while using the Tor Browser. Avoid logging into personal accounts, sharing sensitive information, or downloading files unless you absolutely trust the source.

2. Using Tails OS with Tor:

Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a privacy-focused operating system designed to be used anonymously. It routes all internet traffic through the Tor network by default.
Using Tails OS with Tor is generally considered more secure than using the Tor Browser on a regular operating system because Tails is designed to leave minimal traces of your activities on the host system.
Tails doesn’t write anything to the hard drive by default and aims to provide a higher level of privacy.

3. Search Engine with Tor:

When using the Tor Browser, your choice of search engine matters.
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track users’ searches or store personal information.
It’s a good choice for maintaining privacy while using Tor.
You can also use other privacy-focused search engines like Startpage or Searx. These search engines prioritize user privacy and don’t store your search history.

Remember, while Tor and privacy-focused tools can significantly enhance your online privacy, there are still potential risks and limitations.
For instance, if you log into accounts that contain personal information or use websites that require identifying details, your anonymity might be compromised. It’s also important to keep your software up to date to patch any potential vulnerabilities.

No idea if it helps.
Some of the statements were already clear and pretty well-known, I think.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for doing the research very much appreciated

It confirms what I had thought was correct I just had a shadow of doubt when I replied to the question posed

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Thanks for posting this Paul.

A search engine I use that is uncensored, private and decentralised (using blockchain tech) is called Give is a try.

To learn more about Presearch -

I believe duckduckgo engaged in censorship of search results so I stopped using it as while back.

If you want a nice summary by itsfoss - 10 Best Privacy Oriented Search Engines To Google in 2023


Thanks for the additional info will go check them out later today. Had not seen the itsfoss item before must have missed that week

Hi Paul, :wave:

you´re welcome.
I´m glad my post could be of some help to you.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Interesting. Any evidence of this?

I read the same stories about duck but never found any proof, just speculation.
I had a similar issue on windows with mystartpage which is also on recommended list with links to virus problems, every time I found viruses issue the home page on IE had been changed to that.

The first reference I can see from DuckDuckGo ‘censoring’ something was after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where they down ranked Russian propaganda sites. There were two main groups that were upset about this: pro-Putin people and free speech advocates. I don’t really care what the pro-Putin people think, and while I do think the free speech advocates here have a point, I would argue this is not censorship if you can still find the Russian propaganda sites. I have not tried to do this - but in any case, I don’t really use DuckDuckGo to give me unbiased results. There isn’t search engine that isn’t manipulating the results. The search engines must use algorithms which will manipulate the results by definition (or can be manipulated by other people to get their article/website higher), and some of them manipulate the results further (as what DuckDuckGo has done here).

After that, I hear a small amount of rumbling from some people claiming DuckDuckGo is ‘censoring’ the results further, but nothing with any evidence.

Up to you if you want to use DuckDuckGo. I use it more just because its not Google and I can usually find any questions I have answered quickly. If you want to get the other side on a political issue or you want to read various opinions, you have many other options available to you, of which DuckDuckGo and other search engines are only one.


Interesting timing of events around the world and it’s influence not thought in relation to the war. But did see a change around COVID positive and negative.
I stick with Google as it generally gives me the results I want right or wrong as it’s the most popular and I don’t have any dark secrets to hide my research is general


Excerpt from the article…

One lone bastion had been DuckDuckGo, a search engine that ensured users their privacy and search results that were relatively unbiased. However, on March 9, the CEO of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, announced on Twitter that:

“Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create at DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search engine updates that down rank-size associated with Russian disinformation.”

The move by DuckDuckGo was only one in many made by social media platforms to reportedly clamp down on “disinformation” campaigns stemming from Russia.

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I use Firefox with a number of hardening extensions like Duckduckgo Privacy, HTTPS Everywhere, Facebook Container, Privacy Badger, Canvas Fingerprint Defender, and uBlock Origin. I try to use DuckduckGo as the first option but will use Google about 20% of the time. My bank and some other corporate sites don’t like the masking so I have Edge on board with my Ubuntu OS when I need to just get shit done. I have an Android phone so Google is always spying on me but I try to limit as much as possible. I’m considering getting a Pine phone as my daily driver and just using my Android for work. Privacy can be a pricy but it’s worth it in my view. Just know that when you use Chrome they sell your data. Google is the worst, with Microsoft and Facebook right in line. FOSS options are always best. I use Ubuntu because I like the security that Canonical affords us. But I understand why they get a bad rap in the Linux community. Some believe the best approach is only GNU/Linux. I wish I had the patience of Richard Stallman. Hope this helps. Best of luck in your journey.

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Hi David and welcome,
You are right, Linux is a journey.

There is another option, apart from Linux, for those concerned about security and privacy.
OpenBSD specializes in being secure, even with the default
installation. Anyone who has used Linux would be comfortable with BSD… there are differences, but there are a lot of similarities, for example DE’s are the same.

Android devices are resaonably secure, it is the privacy issues
that concern most of us. There is a lot you can do just by
being careful how you behave…



I had a need this week for a private browsing session so installed the tor browser which offered me duckduckgo as the first search engine option so safe or not …