With the security issues the world of internet is facing everyday, privacy has become the leading concern for users. Companies try and keep up with the threats to offer the best services to their costumers in terms of security and privacy. One of the area in which privacy plays a role in worrying the users, is browsing privacy. Browser service providers have tried to address the issue, yet not in a way that is ideal. Google implemented a feature called Incognito Mode to its browser Chrome to offer protection against browsing privacy concerns.
Private browsing is an option many browsers offer a private web surf experiment within the app. Starting in 2005 by Safari, this feature became to be one that would find its way in many other web browsers. But are they the safe way to do your search and logging into your accounts? Here we go try to understand what is privacy mode in browsers by examining Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode.
What is Incognito Mode?
Google Chrome is one of the most used browsers in the world and having the Incognito Mode only have helped the company keep it this way. The word “Incognito” can almost tell the story behind this feature by its meaning that is “concealed identity”.
Unlike the common misconception, Incognito Mode does not give you a cloak of invisibility, like that of Harry Potter’s, to go through the internet. When you use the privacy mode your browser changes its behavior within itself. This private session only gives you privacy of search inside the web browser. The other parties still have you on their radar. To clarify let’s see how does IM work.
How does IM work?
Normally when you use a web browser, the browser starts storing your browsing history, cookies, site data, and the information put into forms. Other than that they save your web searches and passwords you saved. When you use Incognito Mode the web stops saving your historical data, cookies, site data, and form inputs.
All of this stoppage of storing data is only within the browser. Google Chrome tried to explain this to the users before using the IM. This is to ensure that users know all that happens by going incognito. Here you can see the Google Chrome message when you go incognito.
What is means is that, you only stop the data storing on your end. As it reads in the picture above, websites you visit still can monitor your activity. Your internet service provider (ISP) and those who have control over the network you’re using, too can see your activity. The servers you’re using can see your IP address, hence your physical location.
Unfortunately for those who want to use IM hide their activity from others’ eyes, this is not the way. You cannot watch a video while gone incognito and expect your activity be discreet from your ISP, or other parties with control over the network. If you’re using the workplace network your employer still can see what you’re doing on the internet even with IM at play.
Why was IM Implemented?
Fisher told thrillist that Incognito Mode was made to help get rid of others’ cookies and references the web browser normally offers on a device with different users. This way it gives the users of the same device to keep away from advertisements that are based on the previous searches by other users.
Another agenda for using a privacy mode on chrome was to help those searches that are for surprise preparations. If you’re using the same device with your significant other and want to book a romantic place online without them knowing it, using the IM is the way to go.
Private Browsing Use
The hold on storing the data on the browser gives a private session that has its beneficial uses. Private browsing was meant to make sharing a computer easier and these are some of the major facilitator factors.
With no cookies saved and no site data, the browser would not remember your activity after your private session is terminated. This way in future references the browser can’t use the cookies for ad direction purposes based on your incognito searches. This will give opportunity to you to search for products without seeing ads that might distract you. Better yet, if your searching for something or wan to purchase something online on someone else’s device, you will not face the unwanted ads and references by sing IM.
Yet another use for private browsing is the ability to log in to multiple account. You can stay logged in to your Facebook account on Google Chrome and at the same time use IM to get into another Facebook account. You can check out your accounts on other’s phones without the concern that your passwords might stay there.
One of the advantages of the misconception about Incognito Mode is that it gives parental control. Monitoring kids online these days is one of the concerns for parents and this option can be somehow used to help this matter.
Better Options for Private Browsing
We talked about how private browsing works and that it only gives privacy within the web browser. IM does not provide us with security for our search, yet there are ways to stay safe on the internet.
This browser will keep third parties away from your data. Although Tor can provide you a secure line to the internet but it opens you up to the dark web. Needless to say that Dark web is not something everyone wants to get in.
This browser gives you only a private mode. It never keeps any data after the private session is over. The only problem is that Epic Browser is not as up to date as chromium.
One of the safest ways to surf the net is using a trustable VPN. VPN and Proxies both offer a third server for you to connect to the internet. Yet VPN encryption of the data and redirection to a third safe server gives you more security on the internet.