Is private browsing really private? Short answer: No
What is private browsing? You probably expect your “private” browser to be private. Not this. The so-called private browser is a standard feature of various web browsers and has private-sounding names such as private browsing, private tabs, and private windows. Using private browsing mode can help you with many things, but maintaining complete privacy is not one of them.
This does not mean that they are not useful.
It is important to understand what a private browser does and does not do. For example, did you know that you can access your browsing history even when browsing in private mode in most browsers? You probably want privacy and security when you’re online. What makes you think that?
Tip: Think of a VPN or Virtual Private Network.
What is private browsing?
Web browsers may store data about user activity to facilitate repeat visits.
as? When a browser caches web-based content such as usernames, passwords, and images, it helps speed up the login process. This can be convenient for the user. But sometimes you don’t want that convenience when storing that data could compromise your privacy. For example, a web browser may sell user information to third parties for marketing purposes.
Enter private browsing.
For example, Google’s Incognito Mode was not designed to hide or hide your identity. It was primarily designed to facilitate the use of shared computers.
Here’s how Private Browsing solved the problem. Multiple users meant that many different cookies would be stored on a shared computer. This will play havoc while browsing, as information comes up that may be useful to another user but not to you.
If you use a private browser, all browsing history, search history, and cookies will be automatically deleted. A private browser also prohibits web tracking, which means websites have trouble controlling it. Some private browsers also help hide your location.
Is Private Browsing Really Private?
When you think of privacy, you probably picture yourself searching the web completely anonymously. However, private browsing may not provide the complete mask of privacy you’re imagining.
For example, private browsing lets you stay incognito on a work device because your information isn’t stored on your computer. But your privacy ends there. Your employer, Internet service provider, websites you visit, and government agencies may still have access to information including your browsing history, passwords, and cookies.
Many browsers offer private browsing mode. Here’s an example.
Google Chrome offers an incognito mode.
Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge offer a private browsing mode.
Mozilla Firefox has a private browsing mode.
Opera has a private browsing mode.
Safari offers a private window.
DuckDuckGo, a search engine, does not track or share your searches or record your personal information.
There will be much more about these browsers.
How do private browsers work?
Private browsers allow you to hide your Internet activity from other people using the same computer or device. Not all privacy modes are created equal, but most private browser settings don’t save your cookies, browsing history, search logs, or downloaded files.
Nevertheless, cookies used during private browsing sessions may provide information about your surfing behavior to third parties. This means that your web activity can still be tracked.
Why Browsing in Incognito Mode Isn’t Actually Private
Some web browsers that offer private browsing include an explanation of why using this feature cannot guarantee complete privacy. The purpose of private browsing is to prevent information such as browsing history or downloaded cookies from being automatically saved on your device. However, in some cases downloaded or bookmarked files may still be saved. Then the private browser session ends only when the browser window is closed.
The problem persists: Your activity may still be visible to the Internet Service Provider as well as to the organization that provides the Internet connection, e.g. B. A school, university, or company. Also, websites you visit can see your session.
Is Private Browsing Safe?
Like any other browsing session, Private Mode can provide an additional layer of security if your device is running the latest operating system and with an up-to-date security suite. No? Cyber intruders or hackers can view your session history.
The bottom line is that personalization offers no protection against cybercriminals who gain access to online clues you may leave behind. Always be sure to install and use strong security software on all your devices before you go online, private browsing or not.
Why go incognito while surfing?
There are many good reasons to be incognito when surfing the web, including:
- Use of multiple email accounts. You can open a tab in private mode and log in to multiple email accounts without the hassle of logging out of one account and logging in to another.
- Using a shared computer or a computer you don’t own. Sometimes you’re not at your device and need to access a Mac, PC, or another device that isn’t yours. A private browser should prevent your passwords, search history, and browsing history from being stored on this device.
- shopping gift. Birthdays, holidays, or any other occasion: If you’re shopping for someone on your shared computer, make sure you do it in private. The last thing you want is an overzealous browser sharing your gift ideas and spoiling your surprise.
- Investigation of “sensitive” issues. Sometimes you may need to research topics that you may not want to type in this search box. Researchers, writers, students, and others may need to search for words that are outside their comfort zone. A private browser can save you some embarrassment or help protect sensitive medical information.
- Online Travel Booking. Whether you’re looking for cheap airfare or hotel reservations, a private browser can help. With web tracking turned off, airlines and hotels can’t learn much about your need or desperation for desired dates and reservations. This may prevent them from changing prices based on your search history.
What is the difference between a Private Browser and a Secure Browser?
A private browser prevents websites from installing cookies on your device. A secure browser makes it difficult for hackers to access your device.
Several secure browsers have been developed in recent years. These claim to provide an extra layer of security not found in a private browser.
Despite this, most secure browsers are open source, and there is no guarantee that your browsing history will remain completely private.
Private browsing option
As mentioned, many web browsers offer their own version of “private” browsing. These so-called private browsers keep some, but probably not all, of your information private, and while many are similar, there may be differences in the protection they provide. Here are some examples:
Google chrome incognito mode
Google Chrome’s incognito mode is designed to make computer sharing easier in places like the office. However, turning on incognito mode doesn’t keep your identity private. For example, Chrome doesn’t save your browsing history, cookies, website data, or information you enter into forms, but it does keep files you download and your bookmarks. However, this will not protect your browsing activities from the websites you visit, your employer, schools, or your Internet service provider.
Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge InPrivate Mode
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge offer a private browsing window that offers the same features as the others. The pages you view, form data, or web searches are not saved. However, downloaded files and bookmarks remain on your computer even after you close the InPrivate window. Microsoft browsers disable any third-party toolbars that you may have installed when you start a private session.
Safari’s Private Browsing Window
Safari’s Private Browsing window protects your temporary browsing data (your search history, form data, and cookies) by deleting them by default when you close it, just like the rest. It also removes temporary files when you close the window.
Opera private browsing mode
While Opera offers many of the same privacy features as other browsers, one additional feature makes your browsing private.
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