Friday, May 28, 2010

Secure Google Search

After many years, Google finally announced a secure safe search site: (emphasis on the 's' after 'http' - meaning the site uses SSL encryption). Like any other Google product, it carries a little "beta", and probably will continue to for several years (hey - it beats employing QA people wink).

Now, you might ask "why do I need this level of security?" In case you, like me, use your default browser's search box, chances are you search with Google regularly. And there are some people who wander around collecting network traffic for nefarious purposes. While your personal wi-fi router might be secured (and if not, read this article - ironically pointed to by Google's blog), you may spend time on the road or on open networks - and then, your search strings (along with any other non-encrypted data) is fair game.

And now, you can change your browser's default search behavior.
  1. Firefox: download the Secure Google Search Engine addon, and make it your default search.

  2. Chrome: Go to the wrench menu, select "Options" and click the "Manage" button next to "Default Search". Google does not let you edit its provider, so add a new one and type the following:
    Click "Ok", select your provider and click "Make Default".

  3. Opera: click the small drop down arroww next to the magnifying glass in the search box. Select "Manage Search Engines...", select the Google provider, click "Edit" and add the 's' after 'http':

  4. Internet Explorer 8: I could not find a way to either add a secure provider, or edit the existing one. Then again, I'm sure none of you use it anymore smile.

    Update 5/30/2010: after posting a question on SuperUser, I got a link to this site, explaining how to create your own search provider in IE8. Follow the steps and create one pointing to
And remember: Big Brother is out there watching you. And he's even issuing stocks...

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