Incognito Mode & What it Does NOT do

Browser Incognito Mode

Many people today are conscious of their Internet safety. They regularly take measures such as using a VPN to safeguard their privacy. Still, there are many other individuals who think that Incognito Mode on their Chrome browser is enough protection. You might be surprised to find out what Private Browsing on Firefox or Incognito Mode on Chrome actually does.

What is Incognito Mode or Private Browsing?

Chrome and Firefox are two of the most popular Internet browsers used today. In fact, a large number of the population use them regularly. They have many nice features, and are somewhat secure. In addition, they are user-friendly and easy to navigate.

One of the more useful features to each browser is a special browsing mode. In Chrome this is called Incognito Mode. In Firefox it is referred to as Private Browsing. In these special modes you are given some basic protection against tracking cookies and other security flaws.

There is no browsing information retained when you use Incognito browsing, so no record can be accessed of the sites that you visited while you were online. Well, almost. This only applies to that specific browsing session in which you went Incognito. If you don’t close the Incognito window and share the computer with others in your household, taking a look at what you were doing isn’t really all that hard.

Whenever you close the Incognito or Private Browsing window, the record of your session is gone forever. There will be no saved searches, cookies, or browsing history.

Both Chrome and Firefox make it pretty easy for you to get to these modes. All you need to do is click the tab at the far right of the bar atop your browser. You’ll be given the option to open the private window in addition to the window that you already have open. It’s a very simple process. Just be sure to close the window when you are done.

The Safari browser which comes packaged with iOS devices also has a private window that can be accessed for private browsing.

Will Incognito Mode Make You Anonymous?

As good as Incognito modes are on modern web browsers, they are not a complete solution for security. As we mentioned above, the secure browsing window only prevents some minor threats. If we’re being honest, these secure modes are mostly used when you don’t want someone to know what you have been looking at on a shared computer. Or, they are often use to protect phone browsing from the eyes of a spouse or significant other.

Beyond that, these modes do not offer you any real form of online anonymity. They do not hide your IP address, nor do they prevent someone from possibly accessing your physical location. What they may do is provide you with a false sense of security when you use them. In fact, the risks associated with Incognito Mode use can be very high.

What Are the Risks of Private Browsing Modes?

When you open a private browsing window, you will be greeted with a brief disclaimer. This message will inform you that your browsing activities may still be visible to your ISP, or Internet Service Provider. They may also be visible to your network administrator. That can be a huge problem if you are using Private Browsing mode at work or at school.

There are people who have used these modes for Internet browsing that have found themselves in worlds of trouble when their Internet activity at work was uncovered. Also, you could be fooled into thinking that your banking data or other personal information is safe when you are incognito. Nothing could be further from the truth. Protection of private data has nothing to do with a semi-secure browser.

It is also true that your DNS records can still be tracked when you are in Incognito Mode for web browsing.

Is There a Better Alternative to Incognito Mode?

Thankfully, there are a few different things that you can do if you want more Internet privacy. One suggestion is to use a separate browser or plug-in. This is sometimes referred to as compartmentalization. You would only use the separate browser when you are doing searches, and you could change its settings to prevent cookies.

You would then use your regular browser if you wanted to access your social media sites and such. The problem with this is that keeping everything separate can be taxing, and it is easy to forget when you are browsing. The moment you use the other browser to connect to one of your regular websites, you are forging a possible link between that browser and your identity.

The TOR browser, also called The Onion Router, is another alternative. TOR uses a network of nodes that makes it virtually impossible for someone to discover your true IP address. There is an entire portion of the Internet called the Dark Web which can only be accessed with TOR.

For those who want true Internet privacy, the best solution can be a VPN from A VPN is one of the few solutions that can offer you anonymity online. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and your ISP. Data that passes through the tunnel cannot be observed or tracked. Your ISP can see that you are connected to the Internet, but they cannot see what you are doing online.

We would invite you to learn more about our affordable VPN packages. We offer some of the most affordable and reliable VPN service that you can find. We have a vast network of servers in many locations throughout the world.

If you truly want peace of mind and anonymous browsing, a VPN is right for you.

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Does Incognito Mode Protect Your Privacy Like A Vpn?

Anyone that has used a modern web browser to access the Internet is probably familiar with private or incognito modes. These browser settings are promoted by browsers as a way to safeguard your privacy online. Many people make the mistake of thinking that incognito mode does a job that is similar to a VPN. The truth is that these privacy settings may not be as private as you think they are.

What Does Incognito Mode Do?

Let’s begin by taking a closer look at what incognito or private mode is and what it is capable of. This mode of web browsing can be turned on by going to your browser settings. When you activate it, a separate and “secure” browser window pops up.

While you are in the incognito mode the browser does not store your browsing data. This means that it cannot be retrieved at a later time. All the searches you perform, websites that you visit, login information, and cookies will not be saved to your device. Once you close the private mode window all the information from your browsing session disappears.

There are some exceptions. If you download any files during your browsing session these will be retained. Also, any bookmarks that you create will be saved. Almost all of the major browsers that are available today include a private browsing mode. Many people use this mode and think that they are taking good measures to protect their Internet privacy.

What Private Modes Do Not Do

Not storing your browsing data may sound pretty good. Especially if you share your computer with others. Let’s look a little bit farther and see what these special modes are not capable of doing for you.

An incognito mode will not hide your traffic from an ISP, the government, or network administrators that could be monitoring network traffic. Those entities can still see what you are doing when you are online if they choose to do so. The mode will also fail when it comes to securing your traffic against hackers and data thieves.

Think about it this way. A private or incognito mode only protects you against those who want to track your Internet activities on the device you are using. For example, a man regularly visits adult data sites. His wife becomes suspicious and decides to check his computer browsing history. If the husband has been using incognito mode and not making downloads or creating bookmarks, it will be difficult to prove that he has visited such sites.

We’re going to be honest here. The truth is that a smart Internet user would probably use incognito mode as a matter of course at all times. What you choose to view on the Internet is your own business. But it would be a mistake to think that you are achieving some superior form of protection while using incognito mode. That just isn’t the case. Only a VPN can provide superior levels of protection.

What a VPN Can Do That Private Modes Cannot

Now lets take a look at what a VPN can do that an incognito mode cannot do. We’ll start with a brief explanation of what a VPN is and how it works.

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that exists between your device and the Internet. All data that passes through that tunnel is encrypted, making it impossible for prying eyes to observe. A VPN also obscures your real IP address in favor of an IP address that belongs to the server owned by the VPN provider.

Do you live or work in a country that restricts or blocks some websites and services? A VPN can help you to access those services. Perhaps you are from the United States and have a Netflix account. You find yourself in an area overseas where Netflix is not available. You simply connect with your VPN and choose a US server. This will identify your device to Netflix as being located in the United States and access is restored.

The element of changing your IP address is one of the core benefits of a VPN and why private browsing modes do not work the same way. When you are in incognito mode your ISP can still collect browsing data. Your employer can still track the IP address of a device and find out what you have been doing on company time.

You will notice that browser developers like Mozilla and Google are very transparent about what incognito mode can and cannot do. They will tell you when you open the private window that your activities can still be tracked.

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