Is private browsing really private? Short answer: No
You might expect your “private” browser to be private. it’s not. So-called private browsers are a standard feature of many web browsers, and have seemingly private names like Private Browsing, Private Tab, and Private Window. Using the private browsing mode can help you do many things, but maintaining complete privacy is not one of them.
This does not mean that it is not useful.
It is important that you understand what a private browser does and does not do. For example, did you know that browsing history can still be accessed in most browsers when browsing in private mode? You probably want privacy and security when you go online. So how do you get it?
Tip: Think of a VPN or a Virtual Private Network.
What is private browsing?
Web browsers can store data about users’ activities to facilitate revisits.
how? When the browser caches web-based content such as usernames, passwords, and images, this helps speed up the login process. This can be convenient for the user. But sometimes you may not want this rest, if storing this data may put your privacy at risk. For example, a web browser can sell user information to third parties for marketing purposes.
Enter private browsing.
For example, Google’s Incognito mode was not created to disguise or mask your identity. It is primarily designed to facilitate the use of shared computers.
Here’s how private browsing solved the problem. Multiple users means that many different cookies will be stored on a shared computer. This can create chaos when browsing, with information appearing that may be useful to another user, but not to you.
When you use a private browser, all browsing history, search history and cookies are automatically cleared. Private Browser also limits web tracking – which means websites have trouble keeping tabs on you. Some private browsers even help mask your location.
Is private browsing really private?
When you think about privacy, you will likely see yourself searching the web in complete anonymity. But private browsing may not offer the full mask of privacy you imagine.
With private browsing, you can stay incognito on your work machine, for example, because your information won’t be stored on your computer. But your privacy ends there. Your employer, Internet service provider, websites you visit, and government agencies may remain privy to information including your browsing history, passwords, and cookies.
Many browsers provide private browsing modes. This is a sample.
- Google Chrome offers an incognito mode.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge offer an InPrivate browsing mode.
- Mozilla Firefox has a private browsing mode.
- Opera has a private browsing mode.
- Safari offers a private window.
- DuckDuckGo does not track or share your searches or log your personal information.
There is more on these browsers to come.
How do private browsers work?
Private browsers allow you to keep your online activity hidden from others using the same computer or devices. Not all privacy modes are the same, but most private browser settings won’t keep cookies, browsing history, search logs, or files you’ve downloaded.
However, cookies used during private browsing sessions can provide information about your browsing behavior to third parties. This means that your web activity can still be tracked.
Why browsing incognito isn’t really private
Some web browsers that offer private browsing come with a statement explaining why using the feature can’t guarantee complete privacy. The goal of Private Browsing is to prevent information from being automatically stored on your device, such as browsing logs or downloaded cookies. Although in some cases, downloaded files may still be saved or bookmarked. After that, the private browsing session only expires when the browser window is closed.
The problem remains: Your activity may still be visible to your ISP, as well as to the organization that provides your Internet connection, such as a school, college, or company. Also, websites you visit may be able to view your session.
Is Private Browser Safe?
As with any other browsing session, private mode may provide an extra layer of security if your device is immune to an updated security suite and running the latest operating system. if not? Online hackers or hackers may be able to view your session history.
The bottom line is that having privacy does not protect against cybercriminals from accessing online paths that you might leave behind. Always make sure to install and use strong security software on all of your devices before connecting to the Internet – private browsing or not.
Why go incognito while browsing?
There are plenty of good reasons to go incognito while browsing online, including the following:
- Use of multiple email accounts. You can open a tab in private mode and log into multiple email accounts without the hassle of logging out of one account and logging in to another.
- Use of a shared computer or a computer that is not yours. Sometimes you’re away from your own device and have to use a Mac, PC, or other device that doesn’t belong to you. The private browser must prevent passwords, search history, and browsing history from being saved on this device.
- Shopping for gifts. Birthdays, Holidays, or Any Occasion – If you’re shopping for a gift for someone on your shared computer, stay private. The last thing you want is a super excited browser that shares your gift ideas and spoils your surprise.
- Searching for “sensitive” topics. Sometimes you may need to search for topics that you would rather not enter in this search box. Researchers, writers, college students, and others may need to search for terms that fall outside their comfort zone. A private browser may save some embarrassment or help protect confidential medical information.
- Online travel booking. Whether you are looking for cheap airline tickets or hotel reservations, a private browser may help. With web tracking disabled, airlines and hotels can’t tell much about your need or desperation to get your desired dates and reservations. This may prevent them from adjusting prices based on your search history.
What is the difference between a private browser and a secure browser?
A private browser that prevents websites from installing cookies on your device. The secure browser makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your device.
A lot of secure browsers have been created in recent years. These claim to provide an extra layer of security that may not be found in a private browser.
However, most secure browsers are open source, and there is no guarantee that your browsing history will remain completely private.
Private Browser Options
As noted, many web browsers offer their own version of “private” browsing. These so-called browsers keep some – but not all – of your information private, and while many of them are similar, there may be differences in the protection they offer. Here are some examples:
Incognito Mode in Google Chrome
Incognito mode in Google Chrome is designed to make it easier for computers to share places like the office. But enabling incognito mode does not keep your identity private. For example, Chrome will not save your browsing history, cookies, site data, or information you enter in forms, but it will keep files you download and your bookmarks. However, it will not keep your browsing activity private from the websites visited, your employer, schools or your ISP.
Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge InPrivate Mode
Internet Explorer and Edge from Microsoft offer an InPrivate browsing window that offers the same features as the others. It will not save the pages you visit, form data, or web searches. However, it will keep the files you download and bookmarks saved on your computer even after you close the InPrivate window. Microsoft browsers will also disable third-party toolbars that you may have installed when starting an InPrivate session.
Safari private browsing window
Safari’s Private Browsing window protects temporary browsing data — search history, form data, and cookies — by clearing it by default when closed, just like the others. It also deletes temporary files when the window is closed.
Opera . private browsing mode
While Opera offers many of the same privacy features as other browsers, one additional feature puts its browsing mode a step above the rest. Opera lets you turn on a VPN connection which can add extra protection to your browsing activities. However, some may argue that this is not a true VPN connection.
Private Browsing Mode in Mozilla Firefox
This private browsing mode is similar to the other mode in most respects, but it offers an additional advantage in the form of tracking protection. With this feature enabled, Mozilla tries to prevent sites from collecting your browsing history.
If you’re still concerned about privacy, DuckDuckGo says its search engine does not collect or share your searches or log your personal information. This lack of tracking also gives it extra privacy points.
Security, privacy, or both?
It’s an easy choice. Perhaps you want security and privacy on the Internet. It is possible that the private browser will not give you both. A secure browser may not be able to do this either. what should I do?
This is where Safe VPN Browsing comes in. A VPN can provide anonymity and security when you’re online, in part by masking your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic.
In short, it can do what you wish your own browser could do.