Startpage Scores Another First: Encrypts ALL Searches

The World's Most Private Search Engine now makes SSL encryption the default

October 24, 2011

As of today, Startpage, by Ixquick, the "world's most private search engine", automatically encrypts ALL searches. Startpage was the first search engine to offer SSL encryption in 2009, and today it again breaks new ground by making SSL encryption the default.

SSL encryption, also known as secure socket layer encryption, is widely praised by security experts as the most secure way to surf the web. Startpage's encryption prevents eavesdropping by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who may become legally required to store massive amounts of personal information on you.

"In combination with the U.S. Patriot Act, snooping ISP's pose an enormous, Orwellian privacy threat," says Robert E.G. Beens, CEO of Ixquick and Startpage. "That's why we've decided to change our website default to 100% SSL encryption, to further protect the privacy of our users' Internet searches."

All visitors to Startpage.com and its sister meta-search engine Ixquick.com will benefit from the new encryption service, which will automatically redirect them to the secure website. Users will see the letters "HTTPS" in the URL bar, indicating that all data will be transmitted in encrypted form. Any hacker or eavesdropper who accesses the connection will simply see gobbledygook.

Other search engines have begun to follow Startpage's lead by offering SSL encryption. However, the privacy benefits of using SSL with other major search engines may be misleading, since those search engines themselves record users' IP address and store extensive records of their searches.

"When you use Startpage, your IP address is not recorded, your visit is not logged, and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser," explains Beens. "In fact, Startpage does not record any information about its users. Nothing. Nada. Zilch."

Consumer privacy expert and Startpage spokesperson Dr. Katherine Albrecht concurs. "Now our users get the outstanding privacy of Startpage combined with the power of Google search results, and it's all wrapped up with a tidy bow of encryption."

"When you perform an encrypted web search through Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it to Google anonymously through our own servers," she explains. "We obtain Google's search results and serve them to you in total privacy. Then we delete all records of your visit."

Automatic SSL encryption is just the latest addition to the growing family of privacy features which combine to make Startpage the world's most private search engine.


About Startpage "The World's Most Private Search Engine"

Startpage by Ixquick is an award-winning search engine that is third-party certified and fully anonymous. It is the only search engine to offer a free proxy service, and the first to offer SSL encryption. Startpage has earned the coveted EuroPriSe "trust mark" for outstanding privacy and data handling practices. It is also certified by Certified Secure and registered with the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Dr. Katherine Albrecht
U.S. Marketing and Media Relations
877-434-3100 [US toll free]
+1 973-273-2125 [for International access]