Google may have provided Linux users with a web browser to use their services more, but you can make it use whichever search engine you wish. It's quite simple to use an alternative search and to disable it using Google for other services. Here's how you do it:
- Click on the spanner icon and select Options
- On the Basics tab you will see a Default Search drop-down. At first you'll probably only see Google, Bing! and Yahoo!, but if you prefer to use an alternative, click on Manage and select a new search engine. It helps if you visited it previously as it will then appear in the list. Click on it and select Make Default. Some alternatives are forestle.org, cuil.com, ask.com, lycos.com, duckduckgo.com and oktyp.us.
- On the Under the Hood you will see various privacy options. To prevent the browser using Google to give suggestions for incorrect web addresses, untick Show suggestions for navigation errors. Google says: "The browser sends Google the URL of the page you're trying to reach in order to offer you suggestions of alternative or similar webpages."
- The DNS pre-fetching option doesn't contact Google at all, so should be safe to leave enabled.
- The suggestion service option will use whichever search engine you have enabled in the first tab, so this won't use Google if that's not the search engine you've enabled.
- The "Enable phishing and malware protection" option means it will send the URL of every site you're visiting to Google, so disable this if you don't want them receiving this.
- Finally, there's the usage statistics option, which allows Google to receive information about everything your system is running when Chrome experiences a crash. Disable this to keep this private.