HOWTO anonymize your search history

If you're worried about the Federal government getting your search-history out of Google, Yahoo and other search-engines, there are steps you can take to keep your personal search-history private.

Last week, it was revealed that Google had rebuffed a Federal demand for its customers' search-histories, while other search engines may not have been so protective of their customers' privacy.

Wired News has published a collection of simple steps you can take to prevent your search-history from being associated with your identity at Google and other search engines. With all the expanded, secret snoop powers that the Feds have gotten under PATRIOT and other unconstitutional laws, it only makes sense to take precautions to keep yourself from being Tuttle-Buttled by an indiscriminate dragnet.

What's the first thing people should do who worry about their search history?

Cookie management helps. Those who want to avoid a permanent record should delete their cookies at least once a week. Other options might be to obliterate certain cookies when a browser is closed and avoid logging in to other services, such as web mail, offered by a search engine.

How do you do that with your browser?

In Firefox, you can go into the privacy preference dialog and open Cookies. From there you can remove your search engine cookies and click the box that says: "Don't allow sites that set removed cookies to set future cookies."

In Safari, try the free and versatile PithHelmet plug-in. You can let some cookies in temporarily, decide that some can last longer or prohibit some sites, including third-party advertisers, from setting cookies at all.

While Internet Explorer's tools are not quite as flexible, you can manage your cookies through the Tools menu by following these instructions.


Update: Jeremie sez, "There's a Firefox extension called CustomizeGoogle
that allows, among other very interesting features, to anonymize google cookie.
I have no proof that it works, but the whole thing looks quite serious.