- Yahoo-18 months
- Bing (formerly MSN/Windows Live)-6 months
- Google-9 months
Online Privacy Tip: It's a good idea to avoid using the same website for both your web-based email and as your search engine. Web email accounts will always require some type of a login, so if you use the same site as your search engine, your searches can be connected to your email account. By using different websites for different needs -- perhaps Yahoo for your email and Google for your searches -- you can help limit the total amount of information retained by any one site. Alternatively, log out of your email and clear your browser's cookies (see Cookies below) before going to other sites, so that your searches and browsing are not connected to your email address. Another method for preventing a search engine from associating your searches and web browsing with your web mail account is to use a different browser for your email account than for your searches and web browsing.
Online Privacy Tip: Avoid downloading search engine toolbars (for example, the Google toolbar or Yahoo toolbar). Toolbars may permit the collection of information about your web surfing habits. Watch out that you do not inadvertently download a toolbar when downloading software, particularly free software.
Online Privacy Tip: Google combines information about you from most of its services, including its search engine, Gmail, and YouTube. Be sure to disable automatic sign-ins by following the instructions at http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=39273. Also be sure to clear your browser's cache and cookies by following the instructions athttps://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en. While you must be signed in to access Gmail, most Google services can be used without being signed in to your account.