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How to get rid of Google: Alternative services and privacy settings to try out online

Whether you object to their tax arrangements or don't like to be tracked, you don't have to give all your data to Google - here are some alternatives to try

It may seem like an impossible challenge to avoid Google all together. Indeed, when you remember that 'Googling' something would have made little sense to non-techies even a decade a go, it's incredible to think how omnipresent the internet giant is.

But Google has made a lot of mistakes in the past that may have alienated their users. For example, their tax evasion scandal will not be forgotten quickly - in December 2012 an analysis it was reported that Google had avoided paying $2bn in worldwide income taxes in 2011 alone.

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, did not help matters further in May last year by defending the tax evasion - stating that he was “rather perplexed” by the whole uproar.

Others may be wary of just how much data the organisation is storing on them - a fear that was no doubt intensified by the various NSA revelations that began last year and seem to show no sign of letting up.

On Monday it was revealed that tens of thousands of accounts associated with Google customers, as well as Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo, have their data exchanged with the US government every six months.

Although users may have reason to distrust the search engine, is it really possible to avoid it all together? We look at the top alternatives to the most popular Google services.