2015 Internet Search Engines Safety Rating

14
May

The Safe Internet League, with the assistance of the National Rating Agency, has issued popular Internet search engine companies rankings to illustrate how safe for underage users their search engines were in 2014 and early 2015 when used at their standard and strictest security settings.

1. Top Safety Ratings Tier

IS1 Rating (Recommended for underage use)
Not assigned this time.
IS2 Rating (No restrictions to underage use found)
Assigned to Sputnik (sputnik.ru)
The research found the search engine demonstrating high performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output, and its staff ready and willing to listen to feedback from ordinary users and NGOs and to promptly correct any shortcomings detected. The only reason the search engine did not get the highest rating is that it is a new company with no extensive record of consistently safe output.

2. Medium Safety Ratings Tier

IS3 Rating (Periodic adult supervision recommended)
Assigned to Yandex (yandex.ru, used with its strictest security settings)
The research found its search engine demonstrating satisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output. On top of that, the League notes that the company is quite open and willing to cooperate with both government agencies and NGOs, and is doing its own R&D in dangerous content filtering. Nevertheless, 2014 saw its search quality drop, signifying that the company sometimes fails to react to the ever-changing online environment with new countermeasures.

IS4 Rating (Constant adult supervision recommended)

Assigned to

  • Google (google.ru, used with its strictest security settings),
  • Microsoft Russia (bing.ru, used with its strictest security settings),
  • AOL.com (used with its strictest security settings)
The research found these search engines demonstrating mostly satisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output. That said, the League notes that Google is quite open and actively cooperating with government agencies at its place of incorporation, but is not equally open and cooperating with their Russian counterparts. 2014 saw its search quality drop, signifying that maintaining up-to-date countermeasures for the Russian-language segment is not a priority.

3. Low Safety Ratings Tier

IS5 Rating (not recommended for underage use)

  • Yandex (yandex.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings),
  • Google (google.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings),
  • Microsoft Russia (bing.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings),
  • AOL.com (used at any but the strictest security settings),
  • Mail.Ru Group (mail.ru),
  • Yahoo (yahoo.ru),
  • Lycos.com
  • Duckduckgo.com 
  • Baidu.com 

The above-listed services demonstrate unsatisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in their output, and are therefore not recommended for underage use.

NG Rating (not recommended for underage use, criminal by nature)

  • TorSearch 
  • Torch
Besides not being recommended for underage use, these websites are criminal by nature, created specifically for distribution of dangerous content.

P.S. The Rambler and Nigma Internet search engines were not ranked due to them using the Yandex search engine API.