The Scoop: Startpage is an essential resource for people who are conducting sensitive searches for fetishes, STDs, adult content, and other things they’d prefer to keep private. This high-integrity search engine connects online citizens with useful information — without recording the user’s every move. Startpage does not track, profile, or store any data about its users, so people everywhere can reclaim their privacy in the online world.

We’ve all had those moments of curiosity or insecurity that we’d rather not broadcast to the world. Or even disclose to the people closest to us. Sometimes a secret question or a naughty impulse needs answering, and it’s more comfortable to explore those channels in private.

Let’s say Jane Doe is worried she may have gotten pregnant from a one-night stand. She should be able to consider her options without letting anyone else know what’s going on inside her body, right? But if she shares a laptop with a family member or a friend, a wrongly timed targeted ad for maternity clothes could raise awkward questions.

How about another scenario? Maybe Sam Rodriguez is questioning their gender identity and needs a safe space to learn about LGBTQ+ topics without being outed as queer, fluid, nonbinary, or transgender. Targeted marketing campaigns rarely respect such boundaries.

Image from Startpage
Startpage gives users the anonymity they need to conduct sensitive searches.

Maybe John Smith has a thing for whips and chains, but he’d rather not have images of handcuffs appear on his devices in broad daylight. 

Google isn’t very sensitive to privacy concerns like these. It shares data freely — informing consumers about online companies, and informing companies about users. Such lax policies put today’s online users in a position to lose autonomy over their information. That’s why they need a private alternative like Startpage.

For decades, the team behind Startpage has been working hard to ensure the internet doesn’t always sacrifice privacy for free information. This search engine has mastered the art of discretion, and it has earned the trust of users across the globe.

Startpage has never and will never collect any data on its users or their searches. All those details remain private. Even if the government were to issue a warrant for Startpage user data, there would be nothing to turn over.

“My number one priority is raising awareness of online privacy rights and next helping people protect their personal data,” said Kelly Finnerty, Director of Brand and Content at Startpage. “With a free tool like Startpage, daily searches are not recorded, significantly decreasing a person’s digital footprint.”

Go Undercover & Find the Answers to Sensitive Questions

Startpage does not record or keep any information on its users, so the team does not know what searches they’re making — or even who their users are. The team relies on the feedback they get from individuals on social media to make a rough guess as to where and how the search engine is being used.

Kelly told us that many of Startpage’s most ardent social media supporters are men — which is surprising because the team itself is mostly women. 

Although Startpage’s most vocal fans may be largely male, there is certainly a case to be made for its utility for female, queer, and nonbinary users. Women who are looking for information about their bodies or birth control options can use Startpage to keep those details private and out of the hands of shady companies. Queer singles who haven’t yet come out can explore LGBTQ+ spaces online without generating targeted ads that could out them in the online world.

Startpage is available on every continent, and it is growing more popular in the U.S. all the time as privacy scandals and data hacks highlight the need for such a tool.

“It’s all about choice,” she said, “Privacy is new to some people, but not to us. We started work on this 15 years ago.”

Robert E.G. Beens owned a meta search engine in the Netherlands, and he became concerned about the amount of information websites could collect on individuals. It appeared to be a huge invasion of privacy, yet online users were opting in, perhaps without knowing the trade they were making with tech-savvy companies.

Imagine if a grocery store required customers to submit a copy of their driver’s license before entering, or if a mall outlet kept notes of every piece of clothing one person touched or tried on. That would be unacceptable in the real world, but it is an everyday occurrence in the online world.

“Your search history is like a running diary and record of your personal life. It reflects what’s occurring with your finances, family, and love life,” Kelly explained. “It creates a clear picture of what’s happening in your life — and how to manipulate you.”

Advanced Tools Can Stop Manipulative Ad Campaigns

We all benefit from the fast and convenient services of search engines, but sometimes we forgo our privacy in the rush to get information or make a connection. We accept the cookies, or we click yes to terms of agreement that we don’t read. And certain online tech companies benefit from the exchange more than we do.

Sometimes you need some privacy on the worldwide web, and Google’s incognito mode simply doesn’t cut it. Many users don’t realize that incognito mode doesn’t actually offer much privacy protection at all. It deletes cookies and clears browsing history, but it doesn’t hide your IP address nor does it stop online companies from collecting your personal data.

“Google is so convenient that it feels inescapable, but Startpage has the exact same search results — without data collection,” Kelly said.

Startpage launched as a privacy-focused web directory, and it has grown into one of the most respected defenders of the user’s right to privacy on the web. The website offers a confidential and anonymous alternative to mainstream internet searches.

Screenshot from Startpage
The Startpage team has spent over 20 years defending privacy rights on the web.

If Google is a major highway where advertisers can see every car and put billboards up accordingly, then Startpage is a tunnel where all traffic is hidden from view and individuals don’t have to worry about being followed or documented.

No personal data is collected. No IP addresses are tracked. No one’s search history becomes fodder for online advertising. It’s a private search that begins and ends with the user.

Whether you’re wondering about an STD, a sexual fetish, or a toxic relationship, sometimes you need to be able to retreat from the public web and ditch automated trackers. And that’s the role Startpage aims to play in people’s lives. 

Some early adopters have sung Startpage’s praises on the company’s Twitter page and advocated for greater online privacy and transparency in search results and beyond.

“We have a vocal and connected community on social media,” Kelly told us. “People talk about the freedom Startpage gives them because they can look for information without being targeted.”

Startpage is a Leader in the Online Privacy Movement

The internet has the ability to shed light on many topics and improve people’s lives by disseminating good information. But it can also shine its light too far and uncover things that never needed to enter the public domain. 

Whether they’re shopping for a gift or looking up a fetish, people have a right to their secrets. They should be able to protect their privacy, even while surfing the web. Today’s digital citizens need a way to stop online companies from broadcasting their business or manipulating their desires behind the scenes. That’s where Startpage comes in.

Privacy-conscious users can turn to Startpage whenever they’d like to have their browsing history remain untracked and unseen. This unique search engine promises its users total anonymity. That way, they can feel comfortable typing in the search bar, no matter what their query is.