Bing is one of the more popular search engines in the world and functions as Microsoft’s search engine as they compete with Google and Apple in the battle of the tech giants.
Like all other search engines, Bing will store the user’s search history and cache as they go about their online experience. The search history can function as something useful, making it a convenient tool for someone who might want to find a website or webpage they frequent often.
Many people are asking the question as to why search engines store their data like this, and other people are asking how to clear all Bing history.
Unfortunately, the way these tech giants store their user’s search history, Bing and Microsoft, can show vulnerabilities and raise concerns about a user’s safety and security online.
What Does a Search Engine Do?
The whole point of a search engine recording a search history is to increase the user experience. By keeping in mind what a user searches for, Bing can give more than just those search results – it can make recommendations and provide more relevant content to the online user.
On the negative side, Bing will store this search data for algorithm reasons, as Microsoft works to bring Bing to the level of Google or a major search engine. This has concerns for its own reasons, but on top of this, Bing will store and sell user data to create more targeted and personalized online advertising for users.
At the end of 2020, the world saw over 125 million records and batches of data lost in data breaches, which is the highest number in recent years. Whether it is nefarious or pure negligence, you cannot trust a search engine like Bing to correctly and morally protect and store your data.
Ever wondered why you are seeing online ads for “fishing rods” and “bait” after you searched “good fishing spots”? This is because Bing stored that data on you and then worked it through an algorithm so a paying third party can use this information to target their product which they are confident you will buy.
Should You Be Worried About Your Search History?
Storing a user’s search data also raises many red flags. What would happen if Bing had a data breach, as Yahoo did all those years ago? Financial and personal data could be at risk if a user’s search history were leaked to dangerous and malicious cyber criminals. On top of this, their actual location and behaviors can be revealed and exploited in very harmful and dangerous methods.
Even if this outcome is not destructive, search history can negatively impact how it draws CPU and memory from a computer. Doing this worsens the user experience as it drains resources and affects computer performance.
How to Protect Your Search History Using a VPN
A suitable mode of protection against having your search data exploited or being at the mercy of online cybercriminals is to use a VPN. This online tool can create a tunnel as you go online, ensuring any data that goes through is encrypted, negating any search history data. This will thwart any cybercriminals or third parties as your data is no longer available to the biggest bidder.
Something a lot of Bing users need to learn is that Bing has options to change the way they store this data. If you go into your Bing settings, you will find that they have the data stored for three months, but the options in there can allow you to have it kept for longer or shorter, depending on your preferences.
How to Clear Your Bing History
Many users might be keen to know how to clear all bing history after reading this. To do so, if you sign into your Microsoft account on the Bing homepage and then go into settings, you should see an option that allows you to go into “privacy.” In this option, you can click on a button labeled “clear browsing data” and then tick “search history” to permanently delete your Bing search history.
Another thing a user should delete if the aim to protect their online data or boost their computer performance is clear the cache on Bing. The cache is what a user could look at as a temporary storage space. It is packed with data that is cached to have things load quicker and improve the user experience, but on Bing, if it gets too full, it can negatively impact the PC and user.
If you go into the same privacy page as before, you can click “clear browsing data” and then “cache” to clear your cache and start fresh!
While Bing can function as a valuable online search tool, an intelligent person would rightfully be concerned about the way your search history is stored, what could happen if it was ever leaked in a data breach, or even if Bing and Microsoft are being completely protective over it as we speak.
A simple yet effective action would be to use a VPN, as your entire online data would become encrypted and effectively take you off the grid. Hence, you need not worry about cybercriminals, hackers, or nefarious third parties trying to exploit your data.
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