Most people in the US use one of the following search engines: Google, Yahoo or Bing. All three do a great job at search, however all three also do a great job of tracking everything you and you family searches for. These search engines like it even better if you are logged into one of their services (email, blogging etc.) but they can also track yo via queries coming from your IP address and cookies on your computer. One or two searches by you and your family is no big deal, but over months, day in and day out of search queries these search engines start to develop a pretty good profile of your likes and dislikes on tens of thousands of topics.
The search engines use this data to serve up advertising that you are more likely to click on. But will the search engines eventually start selling your search data to other companies? Another problem is that the government has figured out that this search data these companies store is pretty valuable and that government is requesting ever more data. Remember the Orwellian horror stories of innocent citizens getting put on secret government lists and never being able to get their names removed?
The solution is to use a search engine that does not collect any search data on you. Here are 3 good search engines you should try.
While I do not think this is a matter to be paranoid or panic about I do think that what you search for is your business not anyone else's, just like what books you check out of the library are nobodies business but you own. Protect yourself. Take charge of you own privacy.
Use any one of these search engines for a week or two as your default search. If you like it keep using it. If you don't like it try another. Do this for all the computers in the house and see how it works for you and your family.