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Guide: Things You Must Know About Chrome’s Incognito Mode
Many internet users think that Incognito mode in Google Chrome is like a magical cloak that gives them instant privacy on the web. That is simply not true.
Incognito mode gets a bad reputation. Some say it is only used to cover up “indecent” behavior. But there are legitimate uses for it. What is Incognito Mode? How “private” is it really? Why would you even use it? And is there anything better to keep your affairs private on the internet? All your questions are answered below.back to menu ↑
1. It’s not really private
Good, nothing is really private these days, but if you think switching to incognito mode will magically disguise your internet behavior, you’re wrong.
When you switch to the Incognito tab, Chrome itself says, “Go Incognito not hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider or the websites you visit. “
YEP. Your ISP still has a list of all the websites you have visited. The website you are viewing may also track your stay. And as Chrome always said, your surfing behavior is never completely protected from the person right behind you.back to menu ↑
2. It will not save you from secret agents
Before the NSA revelations and the incognito page redesign, Chrome had a funny line there. Thanks to Dailykos, we can all enjoy it. Listed under Beware of laundry Surveillance by secret agents
Capture image via Dailykos.
That joke turned out to be a bit too true and was therefore removed from the redesign.
The point I’m trying to make is that when it comes to privacy, incognito mode is definitely not what you should rely on.back to menu ↑
3. Incognito mode: what is it good for?
The purpose of Incognito Mode is not to hide your identity from the rest of the world, but to hide your interactions with the Internet from the PC you are using (and the Google account you are signed in to).
Cool Tip If you let a friend check their email or log in to Facebook on your PC, let them do that in a new incognito window (Ctrl + Shift + N). This way, it’s like they are using a completely different browser, which means they log into their accounts without you having to log out first. Everyone wins. They can use your computer without all of their user information stored in your cookies, and you don’t have to log in to all of your sites again.
For these reasons, Incognito mode is generally safer when you are conducting banking transactions or making calls that you do not want to record on your PC
When cookies and extensions are disabled, the chances of a malicious app stealing your data is greatly reduced.
If you have Gmail, Google Search and an Android phone, you know how obsessive Google’s tracking is. Google Now on your phone will follow up for something you searched for that one time on a computer. Incognito mode prevents such encounters.back to menu ↑
4. Is there any way to be really private on the internet?back to menu ↑
Maybe not “real” (ahem, secret agents), but we can certainly try. Using a VPN is usually the easiest and most effective way. A VPN masks physical location and IP address. So the website you are visiting doesn’t really know who or where you are.
Chrome has two good VPN extensions called ZenMate and Hola. I have previously written in detail about security-based extensions in Chrome.
For Windows and mobile devices, Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear are great VPN services.
But if you really don’t want to take any chances when it comes to privacy, you can check out VPN services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN (sign up at this link and save 49% on an annual ExpressVPN subscription.)back to menu ↑
Use Tor instead of Chrome
Chrome was built by Google. It may be the fastest and most feature rich browser out there. But Google makes money by showing you ads based on your personal information. By using anything from Google, you actually give up your privacy.
For many people, that is worth the convenience.
If you really want to say no to Chrome, try Tor as your browser. It is an open source browser designed from the ground up up to hide the user’s identity. It works similar to VPN software, but at the browser level.back to menu ↑
What do you use incognito mode for?
Let us know what you’re using incognito mode in the comments below, but please don’t be indecent!
Top image via Normand Desjardinsback to menu ↑
Things You Must Know About Chrome’s Incognito Mode: benefits
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