Many people use Google Chrome’s incognito mode to access content on the internet without leaving a trace.
Incognito mode was created about a decade ago to enable users to hide their browsing habits. It has a way of getting around cookies so that your files are not stored on the computer.
The bad news is that this private mode isn’t that discreet as you may think.
What incognito mode does
The main thing that incognito mode does is to help you access the web without storing any local data on your computer. Whether you are working on Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari, your computer will simply not remember any of your online activities.
With this mode, therefore, there will be no trace of the visited pages, searches, and login details once you close your private windows. It will, however, keep the files you bookmark or download along the way.
One thing you need to know though is that the sites you visit will keep a record of your passage. So the mode theoretically only protects you from the members of your household. If you are fond of using incognito mode to access erotic contents online, you might want to think twice before doing so next time.
Why Incognito Mode Isn’t As Private As You Think
The incognito browsing method is not as private as you may think. To begin with, if you are using incognito mode on your android phone, it will still keep a notification log of your activities. Chrome mobile stores record even in incognito mode.
The files stored in incognito mode may not be easy to find for any common person but can still be accessed with the help of a launcher app. With such an app, one can uncover your private logs including the videos watched as well as being given playback options.
In one of the interviews, Darin Fisher the vice president of chrome made it clear that this mode has been misunderstood by many people. There is a disclaimer when you launch this mode that is meant to help you know that your activities could still be visible to people within the same network. This may include your employer, ISP (internet service provider) and government.
The mode was not meant for total privacy and people on the same network can still access your history. So if you are using incognito mode to access unauthorized contents at a workplace, there are chances that your employer already knows.
How your ISP and government can still track you
Even though the incognito mode doesn’t keep a record of your activities, all the information related to your private browsing can still be tracked using an IP address. Your ISP can therefore still collect and share that information. Any third party can also still track your IP address and access that information.
Google and Mozilla clearly warn you that going incognito does not necessarily hide your browsing from an employer, ISP and the website you visit. Apple and Microsoft have not introduced similar warnings but the fact remains the same. If you are going to use incognito mode to sign into sites like Facebook and Amazon, these sites will definitely keep a record of your activities. Use it to sign into any of Google’s multiple apps allows Chrome to activate the cookies and keep track of your activities. Technology has also brought many advances and conveniences but at the cost of privacy.
You have possibly heard how the National Security Agency (NSA) was caught spying on Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. In fact, it is believed that the NSA intercepts close to 98 percent of the South American communications. The technology companies, ISPs, and the government are a key threat to the privacy your browsing habits.
The government can compel the technology companies to share information about you. As much as these companies may want to protect their customers, circumstances force them to work with the government. In most cases, they will comply with all the government requests for information.
Browsing incognito mode, therefore, doesn’t stop the technology companies and surveillance organizations from accessing your records. They have the time and the resources to hack into your computer and access the records they need. A company like Google knows nearly all the Wi-Fi passwords across the world.
How to browse privately
The other tool that can enhance your browsing privacy is the Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN hides your real address and replaces it with that of a remote server. This makes it hard to monitor your online activities based on the IP address tracking.