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technologyEverything you Need to Know About Incognito Mode

Everything you Need to Know About Incognito Mode

Do you ever want to hide your activity online? You might need to secretly shop for gifts for a loved one with whom you share a device. Perhaps you want to find cheap accommodation without a provider following you and hiking its prices. Whatever the case, most web browsers allow you to stop storing the pages you visit.

In Chrome, the market leader in the UK, this option is called incognito mode. You might know it as InPrivate mode or Private Browsing if you use Microsoft Edge or Safari. But regardless of preferences, is this setting as private as you might think?

What incognito mode does

Most web browsers keep a record of the pages you visit to make it easier to return to them. But you can temporarily stop this to keep your activity private from anyone else using the same browser.

In Chrome, you can enable this option by tapping the three-dot button in the top right corner and selecting ‘New incognito window’. Then everything that you do in that tab won’t be recorded in your browser history.

What incognito mode doesn’t do

You’re wrong if you think you’re completely safe from view in incognito mode. Sure, someone using your device won’t see what you’ve been up to. But others can.

The websites in question will know about your visits, for example, and their advertisers will, too. Any site you log into will record you doing so, while network managers at work or elsewhere can also see your activities. The same goes for your internet provider if– and you aren’t protected from the law, either.

Its limitations don’t end there. Any downloads that you make in incognito will go into your main downloads folder, while new bookmarks still show up in regular browser windows.

How to actually browse privately

There are a few ways to achieve true privacy online:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and mask your IP address. Some VPNs offer malware protection, ad blocking and other security features.
  • Switch to a privacy-focused browser which blocks trackers and won’t log your data for profit.
  • While you’re at it, switch to a privacy-focused service engine like DuckDuckGo which won’t track your searches.
  • Disable third-party cookies (which track you across platforms) manually through your browser settings.
  • Make a habit of clearing your cookies. Most are harmless, but not all.

Should you use incognito mode?

Incognito can be useful in some cases, such as staying private on shared devices. It’s also handy if you need to log into the same platform with two accounts at the same time. You might also want to keep personal details hidden on a public computer.

Whatever you choose to use it for, knowing its limitations and how to get around them will help you to browse more privately.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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