How to Test and Use the New DuckDuckGo Private Browser for Mac
DuckDuckGo is now available as a beta test mode browser for macOS. Here’s how to use it to protect your privacy online.
Privacy-conscious DuckDuckGo lives a busy life as a search engine, browser extension, and mobile app. But now it is also accessible as a dedicated web browser for Mac. With DuckDuckGo Browser for macOS, you can block third-party trackers, disable cookies, enable HTTPS for websites, and enhance security and privacy through browser settings. Let’s look at this.
DuckDuckGo is now in beta testing for macOS with a Windows version promised later in 2022. As such, you currently need to request an invite to use the Mac version. To do this, download and install the DuckDuckGo mobile app to iOS Where android. Go to Settings, select DuckDuckGo for Desktop, then press the Join Private Waitlist button.
When access is granted, you will receive an in-app notification providing a URL where you can download the program along with an invite code to enter. On your Mac, go to the following URL https://duckduckgo.com/mac. The download should start automatically. Start the installation from the downloaded file and enter the invitation code. Click Continue, then Start.
The DuckDuckGo browser opens and offers to help you get started. Click the Start button (Figure A).
If you wish, you can choose to import your bookmarks from another browser or skip this step. Then you can set DuckDuckGo as your default browser. The program then offers to show you how it tries to protect your privacy. By default, the browser allows trackers belonging to any site you visit, but blocks those from third-party websites.
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Surfing a website that would normally try to monitor you using third-party trackers. Click on the DuckDuckGo shield icon at the beginning of the address field. The feature tells you how many trackers have been blocked (Figure B).
Click the entry for Blocked Trackers to see which were allowed and which were blocked (Figure C).
Keep browsing different websites. To see a list of all the sites you’ve browsed with tracking data, open a new tab. The page tells you how many tracking attempts were blocked overall and how many for each site (Figure D).
As you continue to browse other sites, cookies and other browsing data are collected. To remove them all at once, click the fire icon in the top right, then click the Got it button. On the next screen, click the Details arrow to see which sites will be included in this purge, then click the Clear button (Figure E).
You can change certain DuckDuckGo browser privacy settings. Click the ellipsis icon in the top right and select Settings. Click on the privacy setting. By default, the browser removes cookies from the sites you visit. But, you can tell it to “fireproof” certain sites you want to keep cookies for so you can stay logged in. To do this, make sure the Ask to fireproof websites box is checked during login.
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Next, many websites will ask you if you want to allow cookies. The DuckDuckGo browser can automatically detect these types of consent notifications and set your preferences to minimize cookies. To do this, check the Cookie Consent Pop-ups box.
To finish, Global Privacy Control, or GPC, is a specification under the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) and the European Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by which you can tell websites not to track you, sell or share your personal information. DuckDuckGo is one of the few browsers that directly supports GPC. To enable this option, check the Global Privacy Control (GPC) box (Figure F).