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How to use incognito mode to browse the internet and improve privacy

Incognito mode is a feature aimed at improving user privacy and security that is supported by all web browsers today. A temporary private browsing session that does not share data with the browser, does not store website information, browsing history, web cache, passwords, form information, cookies or other website data, deleting these or other temporary files when we end the session.

At this point we must make the usual caveats. “Private Browsing” (although very useful in a few scenarios) is not the same as “Anonymous Browsing”, a feature that requires other more advanced tools like TOR. And incognito mode isn’t anonymous or offers as much privacy as it promises. Recent changes to Google’s statement on the subject better reflect what this incognito mode is (and isn’t).

What is incognito mode used for?

The main feature of this mode, which is aimed at protecting the privacy and security of the user, is that it allows web browsers not to save information about the page we are viewing. Although private browsing is not 100% guaranteed and is clearly not the same as the “anonymous browsing” required by other tools such as TOR, incognito mode is very useful in several scenarios such as:

  • Economic transactions. Purchases using credit cards and service accounts such as PayPal, administrative procedures or others, without leaving information about them, as you can read in this article to secure online purchases.
  • Access a website with multiple accounts at the same time. Most websites do not allow you to log in with more than one account at the same time. But private browsing mode offers a solution. You can stay authenticated in the main browser window and open the private browsing tab to use a second account.
  • Use of third-party devices. If you have to use a family member or friend’s computer, Private Browsing allows you to leave no trace of your task and prevent access to the device owner’s services, as is usually the case when you have to log out of their accounts to use yours.
  • “Clean” search engine results. Search engines like Google use your search history and other information they have collected (a lot) from you to display personalized search results. This is usually useful because it is based on your interests, but sometimes you may want to see the general search results that the search engine offers and that other users see, to see how certain terms are ranked, such as your name or your company name. . A session in incognito mode should give you the “cleanest” results possible. This method works with all web engines.
  • e-commerce. After previous use, imagine researching an online purchase of a product you want to buy online, such as Amazon, which, like any site offering personalized experiences based on your user account or previous activity, will remember that you searched for that type of product. Amazon will not only “stalk” you on its portal, but also on other websites you visit. If you don’t want this to happen, you can use a private browsing window. The activity will not be linked to your account on Amazon or other e-shops. Private browsing also offers other interesting uses in e-commerce. For example, if we want to surprise with a product gift and we don’t want to leave a trace or book a trip on vacation or similar.
  • Read or access restrictions. Some websites limit reading access to a small number of free articles, either daily, weekly, or annually, and require a subscription payment when access is used up. If, as is usually the case, access control is based on cookies, you can use private browsing to overcome the limit. Of course, be honest and only use this technique temporarily. If you like the site, please consider subscribing as this will be the only way to maintain it in the future. You already know the difficulties of the media simply staying online.
  • Sites for adults. We left it last, but according to statistics, this is another of the biggest uses of private browsing, as it prevents – for example – minors in the house from accessing material that is not appropriate for their age. Or that your partner discovers the girls/boys you are chatting with… As in other previous uses, especially on some web portals, privacy is not 100% secure, but it is always better than standard browsing.

Incognito mode in major web browsers

All major browsers offer private browsing, although not all have advanced features to disable add-ons or toolbars; restore tabs opened in incognito mode; block all trackers and ads or incorporate VPNs.

They perform the basic main actions we may require for private browsing, without storing cookies or form information and deleting temporary cache files, browsing and search history. Its use is very simple in all browsers.

  • Google Chrome. Quick access with the keys «Ctrl + Shift + N» or by clicking on the configuration tool (Customize and control Google Chrome) in the upper right corner > “New incognito window”. In addition to the basic (do not save browsing history, cookies, forms, etc.) Chrome disables installed plugins. It also warns that the activity is not 100% private and may still be visible to an ISP, company or educational center if you are on their network.
  • Mozilla Firefox. Quick access with the keys «Ctrl + Shift + P» or by clicking on the menu in the upper right corner > “New private window”. In addition to Chrome features, it refreshes tabs in incognito mode and is the only one that directly blocks advertising and other types of tracking. On the other hand, it does not disable plugins or navigation bars.
  • Microsoft Edge. Quick access with “Ctrl + Shift + P” keys or by clicking Settings > “New InPrivate Window”. It offers the basics explained in Chrome.
  • Opera. Quick access with the keys «Ctrl + Shift + N» or by clicking on the configuration tool (Customize and control Opera) in the upper left corner > “New private window”. It optionally blocks default content for online trackers and is the only one that includes its own VPN.
  • Internet Explorer. Quick access using the keys «Ctrl + Shift + P» or by clicking on the Tools menu in the upper right corner > Security > “InPrivate Browsing”. All from Chrome, adding tab refresh and optional blocking of trackers and ads.

In total. All major web browsers offer basic features that can be requested in incognito mode. It’s not 100% private browsing and it’s not anonymous browsing, but it does provide a More privacy than standard browsing mode for multiple uses.

Source: Muy Computer



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