Many users are looking for ways to protect their identities online. And you do not have to look that far to find an option for more private browsing. Incognito-made or similar modes exist in multiple browsers, and you are welcome to browse through them. However, it is important to know what protection it offers exactly.
Thus, is incognito mode private enough? Does it really protect your personal data? Let’s find out in this article.
What is Incognito Mode?
Many available browsers offer an incognito mode in the name of advanced security and privacy. The names are different like Chrome has Incognito Mode, Microsoft Edge has InPrivate Mode, Safari, and Firefox has Private Window.
In a 2017 survey, it was found that 61% of people think they know about private browsing, and out of those, only 21% were using the incognito mode. These figures show that people have started prioritizing their privacy. But the incognito mode is not a full-proof privacy tool to keep your information safe.
Incognito mode in your browser is a kind of blackboard. Here you can browse whatever you want to, but every login information or search history will vanish as soon as you close the window. You might have also noticed the points that are written when you open an incognito window. If you haven’t, here are those.
Chrome(or any other browser) won’t save the following information:
- Your browsing history
- Third-party cookies and site data
- Information entered in forms
These points pretty much sum up what incognito mode is. It helps you in browsing privately so that no data is saved on your device. It will also not store the cookies and data of the site you have visited. Experience this by opening Gmail, Twitter, or any other website, logging in to your account, and closing the browser.
Now, restart the browser; the first thing you will notice is that the browser will open at the start page. Next, even when you revisit the website, you will be already logged out of your account.
It is the basic functionality of incognito mode in your browser. Here is an eye-opener, Incognito mode doesn’t provide you complete privacy or security, not even from phishing or cyber-attacks.
Does Incognito Mode Provide Secure Browsing?
Incognito mode is an excellent feature, but it is not the only solution necessary to protect you online.
Your activities and your IP address on the incognito mode will not be saved on the browser, but they might still be visible to the following:
- Your internet service provider (ISP)providing internet services.
- The website that you are visiting.
- Ads that are embedded on the websites you visit.
- If you are on a shared network (in coffee shops or restaurants), it can be visible to other people on the same network.
- The search engines you use.
So, now after reading the list, you must be aware that incognito is not the solution to browse privately or to save yourself from phishing or cyber-attacks. You will still be visible and trackable through these channels.
Incognito mode doesn’t even prevent you from getting personalized ads. If you log in to Facebook, they will know every website you visit and target you with the most relatable ads. This will happen even if you have blocked third-party cookies.
As you now know, the incognito mode cannot provide you with total security and privacy. Here are a few alternatives you can use to keep your data safe. To be specific, they are not exactly alternatives. They are additional tools you can use with Incognito mode.
Incognito Mode and Other Solutions
- Use a VPN. Virtual Private Network is the best tool for your private browsing, especially for those who regularly use Incognito mode in their browser, thinking it would save them. VPNs are a lot like tunnels; they protect your internet traffic and your IP address, making you more anonymous.
- This search engine is a lot different from Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It is a more anonymous search engine that doesn’t track any of your inquiries. It doesn’t show ads on the searches, therefore is no reason to record your information.
- Tor. It’s a privacy-friendly browser developed on the Firefox browser platform but tweaked for extreme privacy. The browser uses a series of distributed relays which makes your searches anonymous. It sends requests and responses through these relays, which prevent third parties from tracking your IP address or activities.
Undoubtedly, incognito can provide you with some privacy, but it cannot make your activities completely invisible. It cannot even offer you protection against hackers or government surveillance. So, if you are concerned about privacy and data protection, then, luckily, we have learned three quick ways to protect personal data.