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Yes, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is likely spying on your web browsing, and yes, DuckDuckGo can help you significantly cut down on their ability to spy on you. Your ISP is the company that gets you onto the Internet – your home Internet or mobile data provider. If your ISP is spying on you, it means they can use or sell your browsing history to others for things like creepy ads that follow you around the Internet or to junk mail providers.
Doesn't it just protect your privacy from your search engine and not your ISP?
Duck claims it doesn't use "tracker" files either downloaded onto your computer or strings appended within links in your search results. What Duck claims and what Duck does, however, is 2 different things.
Providers do collect metadata (ports and IP addresses), so they have granular capabilities to drilldown on your content. This would be okay to monitor some vicious online activity but the when and why to drilldown on a subscriber's content would be a good question. There's a thick line between monitoring and spying so the question becomes: does Cox routinely cross it?
If OP suspects spying, OP can gobbledygook the content. There is no information in gibberish.