What Is Incognito Mode and Is It Safe?

All modern browsers offer something called incognito mode/tab for private browsing. Whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, or Safari it has this feature. It claims to keep you secure but is it really secure?. Many of us might have used it thinking it keeps us safe but does it really keep us safe?. Keep reading to find out!

What is Incognito mode?

So let’s start of with knowing what is incognito mode. Incognito mode is a private window within your regular browser. This mode is the place to surf the internet without the worries of search history being stored in your device. Not just history, cookies, cache and other traces are also not saved in your device. These keep you locally safe but it doesn’t keep safe on the web. The websites you are visiting, the network administrators, search engines , the ISP have a chance to peek into your privacy! Let’s find that how later in this article. So now we have next question.

How does it work?

Source: WEIRD

When using incognito mode every website you visit assumes you’re never visited the site before, which means that no saved cookies, login information or auto-filled webforms be waiting for you. This ensures that you wont get increased price for the product you were searching for. However, if you sign in to your personal accounts while in Incognito mode, your data is saved for the session. It will erased completely when the session is complete. But being signed in will help the websites and advertisers collect information about you. Also since cookies are not saved you wont get targeted ads unless you are signed in.

Each browsers interpret new window in a different way. For example, Safari treats each private window and tab as a new session, but every open incognito window in Chrome belongs to the same session — and that session ends when all open incognito windows are closed individually, or when you exit Incognito mode window.

How private is Incognito mode?

Source: Sophos

When using incognito mode your browsing and search history and cookies won’t be saved on your device. But if you bookmark a site or download a file from the internet during your session, it will still be visible to other people who have access to your computer after the session ends.

Your every activity on the web is monitored by ISP and incognito mode is no exception. ISP still have a chance to see what you are doing online but ISP has certain set of rules that governs user’s privacy. But in case of any cybersecurity issue they have the right to check it out.

Every activity on a website is also monitored by the website. Using a incognito mode doesn’t keep you safe from malicious websites. Also Advertisers can know you. Let’s find how advertisers can track use in detail.

Can Incognito mode be tracked?

Gathering information about a web visitor to serve targeted ads and other targeted promotions are done using online tracking. It is done with the help of analytics and other software tools that are embedded in the website. Using these collected information companies create a unique online profiles of people, known as a digital fingerprint

Your digital fingerprint include, your operating system, browser, location, time zone, language, and even device specifications. These are collected using special scripts running in the background of websites. Websites tracking us for targeted ads might not look suspicious but the main problem is the accuracy. Trackers that determine your online fingerprint can identify you with an incredibly high degree of accuracy, meaning your browsing sessions aren’t as private as you think. These high accurate data might be a threat to us.

Does Incognito mode hide IP addresses?

Incognito mode is not a VPN. So it doesnt hide your IP address. IP address is an intergral part of your device’s identity online. Simply, It isn’t enough if your aim is to hide your online activity from other users on your network

So, What is Incognito mode actually for?

By now you might probably wondering what Chrome Incognito mode is actually for. In simple terms, it is designed to protect your privacy at home.

When browsing in normal mode, your browser records a complete history of every website you visit. It also collects various cookies and images that are stored on your computer to help make webpages load more quickly, or to remember passwords and logins. Anyone with access to your computer can use this information to reveal your secret browsing habits. When using in Incognito mode, these cookies and temporary files are cleared when the session is over. This protects your data from anyone with access to your computer.

So even though online advertisers know exactly what you’ve been looking at online, your partner’s birthday present will still be a surprise – for them.😅

So brings us to end. Hope you enjoyed and learnt what’s incognito mode. Do share with your friends and family. Also don’t forget to follow us on socials so that you won’t miss any updates! Do check out our other posts related to Cybersecurity.

References: Avast, Panda Security

Kevin Joe Harris

Tech enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge and express his thoughts!

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