Google Chrome incognito mode is a one-click solution for when you want to browse something privately. And in fact, once you close your incognito window, Chrome will forget everything about the session. This includes your browsing history, website permissions, the information you entered in forms, cookies, and site data.
All of this helps when you don’t want other users to use the same computer to know where you’ve been. It also helps to protect you from some forms of third-party tracking used by websites.
However, the actual privacy benefits you get in this way are limited. Let’s take a closer look at how well Chrome’s incognito mode protects you. Spoiler alert: not much.
How do you go to incognito in Chrome?
You can activate incognito mode manually or using a keyboard shortcut.
To do it manually:
Press the three dot icon in the upper right corner of your browser
Once the new window appears, select New incognito window
If you want to use a shortcut instead, press
- Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.
- Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + n.
This will instantly open an incognito window.
Is Google Chrome Incognito safe?
Incognito mode offers some degree of privacy but is not a universal solution. Imagine that you are robbing a bank with a ski mask but without gloves. You’re using the partial protection required by your line of work, but you’re not going to do much good when your footprints are everywhere.
It is the same with incognito mode, which only prevents the browser from saving your browsing activity, cookies, passwords and the like in your local history. This means that your IP address is still visible to the websites visited, whoever manages the network you are using, your Internet service provider and search engines. In short, it doesn’t hurt, but it’s far from the safety standard you should be aiming for.
Why Incognito while browsing?
Maybe you are thinking, what are the uses of Google Chrome incognito mode, then? We’ve established that it doesn’t help much with privacy, but it can still be helpful. Incognito mode is great for when you want to prevent something from entering your browsing history, or you don’t want the browser to remember your login credentials. This is particularly useful when you want to log into your accounts, but many people use the same device.
Also, you can use multiple incognito window tabs to log in to different accounts. In this way, they would not cancel each other out.
Also, as mentioned, some websites will have less ability to track you due to cookie deletion on each subsequent visit.
How to browse privately
There are much better privacy solutions that could make your web browsing much more secure. Here are some examples of what you could do instead of relying on incognito mode:
Use a VPN to mask your real IP address and encrypt your connection. A VPN will route your connection through an intermediary server, making your activities invisible to your employees, the school, and your Internet service provider.
The Tor browser is a great way to hide your fingerprints. It will route your traffic through a network of other users’ computers using randomly generated routes, making it almost impossible to trace their activity back to you. In addition, Tor also prevents tracking through cookies and other similar technologies
If possible, always use the encrypted HTTPS version of a website. Some extensions will force websites to load HTTPS instead of HTTP (HTTPS Everywhere). This makes your private information secure from hackers.
Uninstall Flash and Java. With Java already out, and Flash ready to end its life in 2020, there is no reason to keep these security holes in your browser.
If you want to minimize tracking, use ad blockers like Ghostery or uBlock Origin. They will combat the intrusive code that tracks it through websites.
Consider switching to more privacy-oriented search engines like DuckDuckGo. It does not store your personal information and does not track it to serve ads.
Incognito mode faq:
Can you be tracked in incognito mode?
Once you activate the mode, you receive a warning that your activity is still visible to websites, your employees or the school, and your Internet service provider. So yes, it can still be tracked by your IP address, which Google’s incognito mode doesn’t hide.
Does incognito mode save history?
When in incognito mode, the browser will not save site data, cookies, browsing history, or information entered into forms by users. It will still keep the files you download and bookmarks. It works the same way on desktop computers and mobile devices.
How to disable incognito mode in Chrome?
You can quickly disable incognito mode by closing the tab. The next time you open a browser, you will be browsing as if the session in incognito mode had not happened.
How to disable incognito mode in Chrome Android?
If you need to disable incognito mode in the mobile app, you’ll need to tap Change tabs in the upper right corner. On the right, you will see your incognito tabs open, close them. This will effectively terminate your private session.
If you want to improve your privacy when browsing with the incognito window, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). VPN applications encrypt your Internet traffic and route it through a VPN server. This will hide your browsing activities from your ISP. They will not know which websites you are browsing, but they will be able to detect that you are using a VPN.
In general, be careful: Chrome’s incognito window is a good privacy tool when you have doubts about other users who have access to your computer and browser. But that is as far as you can trust.
Also Read: 4 Steps To Create An Unbreakable Password