Anyone who surfs the Internet with a normal browser does not remain anonymous. Companies like Google and Facebook as well as countless advertising networks track every click to research interests and living conditions of the user. Browser providers analyze the data packets that are sent back and forth between the connections. The surveillance agencies also monitor the Internet activities to combat crime.
Many browsers claim to offer a simple solution for users who want to protect their privacy by playing with words. The Incognito mode supposedly disguises its identity, blocks data collectors and makes surfing secure. But is that true? Let’s understand what Incognito Mode is good for.
Users overestimate the impact
Many users misjudge the effectiveness of incognito mode. 40 percent of the users believe that their location remains secret in private mode. 37 percent think that this hides their web activities from the employer. And 22.6 percent even assume that the Incognito mode protect them from the government.
In fact, opening a private browser window does much less. Incognito mode in Google Chrome, for example, only means that the browsing history and information entered on websites are not saved. This prevents the information that the subsequent users can immediately see what all websites you have visited. Forms are also no longer automatically filled in because the information is not saved in the browser.
The cookies and website data are still saved at least until the end of the session. Advertising networks and website operators can still observe and analyze the surfing behavior of the user. The data is only deleted when the user closes the window. On the next visit, No information is displayed even to the same user.
It works similarly in the Incognito mode in the Firefox browser. Firefox deletes all search terms and list of visited websites during the browsing session when either the application is closed or all private tabs and windows are closed. This does not make browsing anonymous to website operators and Internet providers, but it makes it easier for you so that the other computer users cannot see your activities .
This shows how limited the effect of Incognito mode really is. Even with the employer, the Internet provider and the network administrator, users cannot hide with Incognito mode and certainly not from the Government.
In the incognito mode, neither the identity nor the online activities of the user are obscured. If you really need to browse anonymously, you can use a VPN. VPN is a virtual private network and it can protect user’s privacy by disguising their origin and encrypting data traffic. However, caution is required when choosing a provider as many free VPN providers analyze data traffic for their own purposes or pass on their findings to third parties.