Search Engines & Databases
Helping You to Find it on the Web
There are millions and millions of websites on the Internet. Search engines evolved to help you locate the information you want.
Startpage offers you Web search results from Google in complete privacy!
Scroll down the StartPage search page (above) and look for “Make Startpage.com your default search engine.” The methods can vary by browser.
DuckDuckGo: Alternative Recommendation
Other Search Engines
Avoid the “Sponsored” Results
Avoid choosing the “sponsored” results and stick to the offerings from the original vendor where possible, especially for software and hardware drivers downloads. The links have paid for high positioning and seldom provide anything useful or trustworthy.
Ensure Computer-related Search Results are Relevant
Depending upon your search, you should choose the most relevant search result, especially when dealing with hardware or software downloads.
- Choose the manufacturer's site (HP, for example) from within the search results rather than any third-party listings (e.g. driverupdates.com).
- Ensure that you're seeing information specific to your computer's hardware and operating system or software version.
- Avoid sites that want to download software to check for updated drivers and software unless the are provided by your computer's manufacturer and are specific to your computer. Many generic driver update programs load potentially-unwanted programs (PUPs) or malware.
Watch for Misleading Links on Landing Pages
Once you've chosen a search result, watch for misleading or confusing “download” links, particularly on freeware sites. These sites try to make money with paid links that often contain malware or PUPs.
Other Information Indexes
When looking for information you can use one of the following listings:
You might find it easier to simply search for the phone number in your favourite search engine.
Tracing Unwanted Calls
Do Not Call List
You can register your phone numbers with Canada's National Do Not Call List.
Consumers should understand that registering on the National DNCL will reduce but not eliminate all telemarketing calls. There are certain kinds of telemarketing calls that are exempted from the National DNCL Rules.
The exemptions include telemarketing calls made by, or on behalf of:
- Canadian registered charities;
- Political parties, riding associations and candidates;
- Persons or entities collecting information for a survey; and
- Newspapers of general circulation for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions.
Telemarketing calls from organizations with whom you have an existing business relationship are also exempt. Details…
Beware of Fraud
Not all telemarketing calls are what they appear to be. A great number of “marketing” calls are fraudulent. NEVER volunteer personal or financial information when receiving unsolicited calls.
If asked for a question that you'd normally respond “yes” to (e.g. “Can you hear me?”) by an unknown caller, refuse to respond. This response can be recorded and used on other sites that record your assent as confirmation of purchases or other agreements.
Caller ID can be faked and often local numbers are used to appear more genuine. While there are signs that indicate fraud, it is better to simply hang up rather than have your identity stolen.
These sites have some free information searches and some that you need to pay for. The rise in concerns about privacy are having an effect on what is available for free.
- Zaba Search free people search. Find People in the USA.
- WhoWhere people search and yellow pages search engine.
Miscellaneous Information Sites
- Russ Harvey's Medical Links includes links to professional medical journals on-line, nutrition and alternative health sites, toxic substances information sites and hospital links.
- Decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Times Have Changed
At one time information was published only by authoritative organizations. While one might question the bias of such organizations, it did effectively make trusting the information easier.
Today, anyone can publish information. Self-managed websites, blogs and social media are everywhere. Many “authority” sites have become nothing more than online infomercials or have generated “fake” news to promote their interests. Self-publishing has removed the vetting process for many printed publications.
This puts the onus on the reader to verify and qualify both the content and the “publisher” of such information.
One way to do this is to seek out the ownership of the site to determine biased self-interest.
- I've discovered that many of the decent medical information portals have been purchased or sponsored by a pharmaceutical company and the information available has changed.
- Many consumer alert sites, especially related to medical devices, are merely fronts for U.S. law firms looking for clients.
- Some sites promote the interests of cults like Scientology yet don't mention their ownership.
- Consumer reports and product comparisons are biased unless carried out by truly independent researchers and advertising can affect outcomes.
Another method is to compare various sources to see how they agree or disagree on the main points.
- Widespread agreement doesn't necessarily mean that the information is true.
- Conspiracy theories aside, common educational backgrounds and sources of information can lead different researchers to come to the same conclusions, even incorrect ones.
- Think things through for yourself using the information you find. Do your conclusions match what you've read?
Unfortunately, today's news media, social media sites and search engines are filtering results based upon what they perceive as your bias from previous searches or your “friends” list.
One might think these searches would turn up a variety of perspectives, including at least a few compelling counterarguments. One would be wrong. — quoted in the Washington Post
Many search engines now alter search results based upon past search patterns (called personalized searches) and you may not get the results you're looking for.
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy. — Beware Online Filter Bubbles Eli Pariser | TED2011
[I]f one company is 90% of the searches in our country, they kind of represent truth to our country. — IRL
Google established itself as dominant by providing search results that were in the best interest of the person doing the search. Google now uses its dominance to shape the market. Changes in search algorithms have cost many companies almost their entire digital revenue — changes that may have been ignored with Googles' own products.
There is still much discussion about how Google, Facebook, Twitter and other online companies could have affected the 2016 US presidential election results as well as those elsewhere.
Search Engines Interlinked
Using a search engine like StartPage can help prevent this because the search is passed onto Google without your IP address and other private information.
Using Advanced Searches
Simple searches provide you with the quickest result, but advanced searches can provide more accurate results.
- Be aware that both you and the sites listing the information can misspell words, names and titles. Search engines now often ask you if you meant to search for a close but slightly different term (e.g. the correct spelling).
- You can use quotation marks to specify phrases (e.g. “time travel”).
- When you get more general results than you expected, you can narrow the search with advanced options or use a more specific search term (e.g. “Labrador retriever” instead of “dog”).
- You can specify images, video, news and other categories for your search results.
- Search results can be narrowed to a specific domain (e.g. Wikipedia.org) or a specific region or country.
Check each search engine for the information on how to refine your search.