On a shared computer in colleges, and offices, there is a need to protect the user’s online activity from other users of a shared device. Hence, the private browsing feature called Incognito mode was introduced. It addresses the former issue completely. Also, it protects them partially from the visited websites and not at all from the ad networks or Internet service providers.
Browsing in private mode: Apple’s Safari browser was one of the first major web browsers to include this feature earlier in 2005 as “Private Browsing”. Later, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge supported this feature. On a shared computer, if you don’t want the Chrome browser to remember your online activity, you can browse the web privately in Incognito mode. This feature can be activated in the Chrome browser of the Computer system, Android phones, Apple iPhones, and iPads.
“Go Incognito” can be added as an extension in Chrome. In Safari, the address bar is shown in black ( to indicate the incognito window).
Starting from Mac Operating systems, Windows and Linux OS also support them. Incognito mode can run in a separate window from your normal Chrome windows. Further details are clearly shown in the below picture.
What browsing details are not stored?
When operating in such a mode, the browser creates a temporary session that is separated from the browser’s main session and user data.
Chrome will not save your
- browsing history,
- cookies and
- site data, or
- information entered in the online forms.
Private Browsing mode (PBM) is not always private, really ….
There are some limitations to that. The files that you download and bookmarks you create will be saved. It still saves your search query, geolocation details, etc and you are not free from malware or viruses.
Your online activity isn’t hidden from the websites you visit, your employer or school, or your Internet service provider (ISP). For security or legal purposes, and from the employer’s perspective, it is not hidden from them. ISPs may compile browsing statistics across many users that the ISP can use or sell.
In private (incognito) mode, your browser works a bit differently. Your search history ( web addresses – URLs) won’t be stored locally. This is great for hiding your browsing history from anyone else who’s using the same device, such as when you’re looking at products in an online shopping portal, reviews of latest movies, health information search, etc.
Health information search
Your health is your business. You might not even want to let family members know that you suspect something is an issue. Incognito mode can help you learn without having to explain before you understand.
Your search history can always influence what you see in the search results. If you want completely unbiased searching, based on an empty search history (and no cookies), incognito mode can let you do so without using the existing history for regular work.
Work in multiple accounts or profiles
If you want multiple windows open in multiple accounts (FaceBook login), sometimes profiles can get confused. With incognito mode (especially if you also use a guest window), you can keep each profile separate. And let’s say a friend wants to borrow your computer to quickly check his Facebook page; he could do that in incognito mode and log in to his own Facebook account without first having to log out of yours.
If you want to record a screencast, you probably don’t want all your own browsing info cluttering your recording. Incognito mode is a great way to do a clean recording.
As a new visitor to the e-commerce site
Sometimes what online stores present to you (along with the prices) are influenced by what you’ve bought before. If you want to see it all without history influencing, both incognito mode.
Helps you save money
Another surprising benefit is that users could save more money under PBM. Many web sites collect the user’s interests by storing one’s browsing session information. For example, through a user’s search history, an airline may rise up the price next time he/she searches it to persuade him/her to make the purchase now.
Preventing website tracking
Websites use trackers to collect information about browsing. They use it to show advertisements according to the user’s browsing preferences and behavior.
Tracking Prevention can be set from the Settings menu (Basic, Balanced or Strict options). Always use “Strict” tracking prevention when browsing InPrivate to “on.”
While using personal systems (iPad or Android phones etc) , it also helps to remove the local trace of viewing of adult content and hiding those kinds of stuff from the other family members, siblings, children, etc.
Incognito Mode allows the user to go undercover when they are browsing the internet. Any searches or websites visited in Incognito Mode won’t show up in the Internet search history later.