Incognito mode while browsing - Myths Busted

You may be using Incognito mode in your browser. The main purpose may be just to keep your browsing private from others using your computer. Or you simply don’t want your browsing in history manager. The reasons for using it may vary.

But incognito mode in modern browsers serve many purposes.

There is also a common misconception among consumers that incognito mode enables users to stay private from everything they are connected to internet.

Let us have a look at what incognito mode exactly does and how much it keeps your activity private.

What exactly is Incognito/InPrivate mode

Private Browsing was a feature first introduced in Mac OS X Tiger in May 2005. After that many browsers included this in their set of features.

Modern browsers like Google Chrome comes with incognito mode which is a privacy concerned feature. This enables a web browser to stop all traces of your browsing when you quit browser.

To open Incognito mode in Chrome, open drop down menu > Click on “New Incognito window”. You see a new Window with a dark theme that opens a Incognito mode window.

Chrome Incognito window

To open Incognito mode in Firefox, Open drop down menu and click on “New Private Window”.

Additionally, Firefox also has a ‘Tracking Protection’ that blocks third party cookies and elements that are used to track you.

Firefox Private Browsing

In Microsoft Edge, open dropdown menu and click on ‘New InPrivate Window’. This will enable InPrivate(Incognito) mode in Edge Browser.

Microsoft Edge InPrivate mode

Privacy Concerns behind InPrivate Mode

While your browser may delete your browsing history and also cookies, all of your browsing is still visible to some parties.

Google may say that they don’t track you while using Incognito mode. Companies using cookies and tracking to trace users across platform make a your new identity. This gets removed as soon as you quit incognito mode.

This is partly true.

It is because your activities online are also connected to your Google, Microsoft or other accounts such as Amazon and Facebook.

For example, if you are logged into your Google or Amazon account, and using their services, your history gets recorded with their databases.

You can learn more about Google Tracking and managing internet cookies.

That’s how you are not completely private.

Some myths behind incognito mode

There is a common misconception that incognito mode hides you from websites. But this is not the case. Your information such as location is still visible to websites.

It’s just your cookies, site data and login information getting cleared after you quit incognito mode.

I recommend you to use a good VPN and proxy servers to hide yourself from sites that want to trace you.

Additionally your browsing session traces remain in your DNS. To clear DNS cache, open Command Prompt and enter the following command.

ipconfig /flushdns

Also don’t login to any of your accounts if you don’t companies like Google and Microsoft to connect your browsing habits to your Google or Microsoft accounts.

If you are too much concerned about privacy, then I recommend you to use incognito mode for browsing sites which are not intended to visit in future.

How much do you use Incognito mode! Share your views in comments.

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