Browsing the web in the incognito mode allows you to appear as a first-time visitor to each website that you visit. This mode causes any website you visit to believe that you have never visited their site before, which means there will be no saved cookies, login details, or autofilled webforms available for you when you visit them.
Browsing in the incognito or private mode indeed allows you to keep certain parts of your browsing private, but it is crucial to understand what it hides and clears from your phone or computer and what it does not. Once you figure out what this mode does, you’ll be able to tell when they’re going to be most useful.
You may prevent the retention of any data or internet history, related to a specific browsing session, on your device, by using the incognito mode. This means that anyone else who uses your smartphone will not be able to see which web pages you visited or what you looked for on Google when you were using it. However, the websites you visit, your Internet service provider, search engines, and other corporations can still track your online activity even when you browse the web in incognito mode. However, your device does not store this information.
What is the Actual Benefit of the Incognito Mode?
Going incognito implies that you will not receive a tailored web experience based on your browsing habits. As a result, while browsing incognito, the prices of high-value things, such as flight booking, will not ramp up the more you search for them.
If you sign in to your accounts using the incognito mode, then you can save your data. Even if you leave the site, your information will be used to assist websites and advertisers in collecting identifying information while you are logged in.
When you launch an incognito window in Chrome, but before you begin surfing, you have the option of enabling third-party cookies. These are, otherwise, restricted by the browser’s default settings. You will see fewer targeted advertisements if you allow Chrome to block these cookies when in incognito mode. However, if this happens, then some websites may not work properly.
The privacy settings of your browser may prevent the launching of a new incognito window, to initiate a second session, in case you already have one open. Every open incognito window in Chrome belongs to the same session. The session ends once all open incognito windows close, or when you leave incognito mode from within one of the open windows, whichever occurs first. However, each private window and tab is a separate session in Safari.
In addition, it’s incredibly useful when you’re borrowing someone else’s computer or using a shared computer, such as in a library, at work, or in other public places. Putting your browser into an incognito mode, before signing in to a website, gives you the peace of mind that your browsing data and login information will not be saved – at least not by your browser. You should, however, be aware of the possibility of keyloggers or other malware stealing your information.
Why Going Incognito Does not Actually Guarantee Privacy
The incognito mode just prevents data storage in the web browser on the machine that you are currently using. This is provided there aren’t any keylogging software or other types of malware present. It does not, however, prevent third parties, including your Internet service provider, websites, or cyber thieves employing packet sniffing tools, from monitoring what you are doing on your computer.
All of those other parties will be able to see what you’re doing on the browser without any difficulty. If you log into Facebook from an incognito tab, your Internet service provider will be aware of your actions. Also, Facebook will have access to some of your data.
Your browsing history, including cookies, will be erased after you exit the incognito window. However, one can trace back to you even if you are no longer visible, via your data. Websites, nowadays, have access to sophisticated methods, such as browser fingerprinting, which enable them to link your activities to your real identity. This can be done even when you’re browsing in the incognito mode on your browser.
Companies utilise this information to construct unique online profiles, known as digital fingerprints, for each individual. Scripts that run in the background of websites collect information about your operating system, browser, geographic location, time zone, and language. It even gathers the specifics of your device. This is done to create your digital fingerprint.
In other words, even while you’re using the incognito mode, you can be precisely identified by the trackers that determine your online fingerprint. You may be affected in a variety of ways by this:
- Using ad tracking, advertisers can gather information about your Internet habits and serve you personalised advertisements.
- You may see higher prices on some websites for things that you’ve browsed online because of dynamic pricing.
- Your favourite websites store a lot of data about you. If a data breach happens, then third parties and data brokers can even sell this data.
You should exercise extra caution when accessing the Internet at your place of employment or institution of higher learning. Many schools and businesses have additional tracking software to allow them to see what you’re doing on the Internet. This is regardless of whether you’re using the incognito mode or not. Thus, you should avoid doing anything on a work or school computer which you would want to keep private.
The obvious verdict is, thus, that ’incognito is not really incognito’. You need to rely on other methods to maintain browsing privacy.
How can You Browse the Internet Without Being Tracked?
Using a virtual private network (VPN) and a password manager are two ways to ensure your online safety.
When you connect to a VPN, your IP address is hidden from your Internet service provider. Using a virtual private network (VPN) encrypts and secures all of your online activity. Your Internet service provider (ISP) will be able to see that you’ve connected to a VPN. However, the rest of your activity will remain anonymous.
You will be able to surf the web anonymously because there is the display of your VPN’s IP address on a website instead of your own. In most cases, this keeps websites from being able to tell who you are. You can also protect yourself from packet sniffers by utilising a VPN, which encrypts your data when you connect to public Wi-Fi.
Additionally, a password manager, such as Keeper, can be helpful. Using a password manager ensures that you never lose your passwords again. Passwords generation can happen in seconds, saved safely, and then entered into websites with autofill. This implies that you don’t have to remember numerous complex passwords or repeat the same, weak passwords over and again.