1. I retired my ~15 year old Gmail account and registered with Fastmail
2. I moved away from Chrome to Firefox on both my laptop and phone
3. I stopped using Chrome's password manager on iOS in favor of 1Password and Firefox Lockbox
4. I've mostly stopped using the Google search engine and now using DDG and Bing if I have to.
Part of what helped me transition away from Google to DDG was skinning DDG to look like Google. The first few days were really tough and I kept finding myself going back to Google about 80% of the time. I thought that the search results were remarkably poorer. I considered that it might just be anxiety of not using Google affecting my view, so as an experiment I decided to theme DDG to look like Google... and it worked. I stopped going back to Google and suddenly the searches became better.
I still use the !g bang for about 20% of my searches, and there are things that Google does so much better that I use quite often (for example searching a store name and it brings up all the local ones with information on what time they close etc, or if you were to write "tengo dolor de estomago en ingles" it would bring up an interactive translation box and so on) but for general searches I've more or less completely moved away.
I started Googling in incognito when Google decided to return “personalized” search results instead of standard results, a few years ago. I was always more interested in the normal results than whatever Google thought I specifically wanted to see. But, since this Summer when I switch to a fresh incognito mode session to do a Google search, I have to click on traffic lights and sidewalks multiple times just to see the first search result. And it always says I failed the first two tries even when I know I did it right. I end up having to do a minute of clicking on images just to do a search. It’s like I’m being punished for wanting to Google in incognito. It happened often enough on my phone for me to go screw this and switch the default search engine.
Bing’s search results just aren’t as good though. I often have to Google for some things, still. But now I’m trying Duck Duck Go.
By the way not sure why my own anecdotal experience is being downvoted. This is my own actual experience, not really an opinion piece.
Other times when I don’t copy and paste I’m just Googling stuff related to my work as a programmer. And I’m guessing since I don’t always use natural language it raises a few flags? I’m not sure.
This was before we had wifi at this house (just got it last month) so I was using a cellular connection almost exclusively, except when at a coffee shop or something.
But I’m a fully coherent human and I can attest that it happened often enough for me to get annoyed by it real fast.
I didn't downvote because I feel bad for OP, but the information is innacurate according to my personal experience, which IMO is a actually good reason to bury it.
By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.
When I do a Google search outside of private mode I’m logged in to my Google account. Under that scenario I’m pretty much never asked to prove I’m not a robot. Same when visiting websites who have that “I’m not a robot” checkbox. When I’m in private mode I have to train datasets. When I’m not in private mode I just hit the checkbox and I’m not a robot.
For me there is a direct correlation between being in private mode on mobile Safari and being asked to click on street signs and sidewalks.
- 100% of the time when clicking “I’m not a robot” checkboxes (which I don’t really mind),
- and pretty reliably (although not always) when doing a google search on a fresh private window on mobile Safari (which I do mind because I get sidetracked for a minute and exit my search mode mindset)
So I’m now sold on DDG. Yeh sure there are cool little helpers in Google that DDG doesn’t have (yet) but can’t think of any right now that I miss so they can’t be too important.
Now, DDG just needs to rebrand with a “verbable” name so it’s easier to talk about...
As has been suggested here before, "just Duck it".
I'm looking to switch my email. Any thoughts on Fastmail vs ProtonMail? Do you feel secure with Fastmail?
If it’s just about privacy from Google reading your email, both work equally well.
 Although, given that it's useful, I expect Google will probably shut it down within the next 5-10 years.
!gsc enter topic you're interested in