Most search engines track your searches in a way that allows them to develop a detailed profile about you so that advertisers can follow you everywhere. SearchLock acts as a shield between you and companies who intend to track you this way. The SearchLock extension detects when your search queries are headed towards a search engine that will track you, then intercepts and redirects your query to SearchLock's privacy-enhanced search results page before you are tracked.
Other search engines drop tracking cookies on you while you search in order to follow you around and profile you based on your search behavior. SearchLock does not.
When you search the web without the SearchLock extension, your keystrokes are sent to the search engine you are using in order to provide suggestions. While this is a convenient feature, your keystrokes are logged and can be easily connected to your profile. SearchLock prevents this by blocking your keystrokes from being sent in the first place. Safari users should be aware that SearchLock is unable to prevent the logging of your keystrokes as you search the web due to the limitations in Safari's extension API. This may expose your search terms to your default search engine. You may turn of the logging of keystrokes by following these instructions. Users of SearchLock for Firefox should be aware that the Firefox extension sets the default search engine to SearchLock in order to provide privacy-enhanced search suggestions without blocking them.
The most popular search engines offer other services which usually collect sensitive personal information such as email (Gmail, Outlook Webmail, and Yahoo! Mail) and social web services (Google+ and YouTube). When you search the web and remain logged into these accounts, your queries can be easily connected to your profile and used to target you.
SearchLock completely disconnects your searches from being tied to your email accounts and social profiles.
Most websites have a “log everything” policy enabled by default on their servers. This means that in addition to being tracked by companies and advertisers, everything about your visit is recorded together with the date and time, a session ID used to identify you, and other information about your computer and web browser.
SearchLock does not maintain personal information, nor do we maintain logs that have personal information or session identifiers tied to searches.
Some search engines do not encrypt your queries, which means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can intercept and access them and connect them to your web and/or cable account. When you use SearchLock, your search queries are encrypted so that your ISP cannot read them.
When you search with SearchLock, your query is encrypted with an SSL implementation that maintains an A rating with Qualys SSL labs. We have gone a step further and implemented perfect forward secrecy (PFS) which makes it even harder to decrypt.
SearchLock doesn't collect or maintain any personal information. Our agreements with our advertising partner also have specific provisions that prevent sharing of personally identifiable information (PII) with them.