DuckDuckGo's new browser extensions and applications launch
Search engine DuckDuckGo launched updated browser extensions and mobile applications for all major platforms today.
The company notes that it has redesigned all products to include new features such as tracker blocking, smarter encryption and private search.
Note: Installation of the add-on will change the web browser's default search engine to DuckDuckGo. Some browsers may display prompts about that while others may not. You may change the default search provider in the preferences however without loosing other functionality that the add-on provides.
The DuckDuckGo browser extension and mobile app will also now show you a Privacy Grade rating (A-F) when you visit a website. This rating lets you see at a glance how protected you are, dig into the details to see who we caught trying to track you, and learn how we enhanced the underlying website's privacy measures. The Privacy Grade is scored automatically based on the prevalence of hidden tracker networks, encryption availability, and website privacy practices.
DuckDuckGo browser extension
The browser extension, called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, adds a single icon to the browser's main toolbar. The icon displays a privacy rating for any site you visit with A indicating optimal privacy and F less than optimal privacy.
A click on the icon displays information and several options. You find a search bar at the top to run searches on DuckDuckGo.
- Encrypted Connection -- Determines whether the site uses HTTPS.
- Tracker Networks -- The number of tracker networks found on the site, and how many have been blocked. You can click on the arrow next to it to display them all.
- Privacy Practices -- Whether privacy practices have been analyzed by the third-party service TOS;dr.
The extension blocks trackers automatically by default. This means that (some) ads may not be loaded as well when the DuckDuckGo extension is active in a browser.
The extensions offer two additional options at the time of writing. You may enable that embedded tweets are shown, and may add sites to a whitelist.
The mobile apps
The mobile applications work pretty much in the same way. They are standalone however which means that you use the applications to search the Internet and to display websites.
The applications display the same information when you activate the DuckDuckgo icon in the integrated browser. You get the site's privacy rating, and can find out about the use of trackers on the site as well.
As is the case with mobile applications these days, the apps may not be yet available for all users.
You find links to all supported browser extensions and mobile applications on the Spread Privacy website.
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