Incognito Mode

Table of Contents


Incognito mode is a feature in Google Chrome that allows you to browse the internet without your browsing activity being stored on your computer or browser once you finish your session. By using incognito mode, you can visit websites without automatically being logged into your online accounts.

What exactly is incognito mode?

While it’s important to note that while cookies, trackers and search history may still be collected by third parties during your incognito browsing session, this data is not saved on your computer after you close the window – it gets deleted.
Other popular web browsers offer similar features to incognito mode, although they may go by different names. For example, Firefox and Safari refer to it as private browsing, while Microsoft Edge calls it InPrivate. Nevertheless, private browsing and incognito mode function in a similar manner across all browsers.

What exactly does incognito mode do?

When you use incognito mode, it allows you to explore the web as if you were a new visitor to each website you encounter. This means that every website will treat you as if you have never visited before – there will be no stored cookies, login information or pre filled web forms waiting for you.When you use incognito mode, your web experience won’t be personalized according to your browsing behavior. This means that the prices of flight tickets or other expensive items won’t go up just because you searched for them multiple times.
However, if you log in to your personal accounts while in incognito mode, your data will be saved during that session.

What is the purpose of using incognito mode?

Incognito mode in Chrome is commonly used to keep your browsing activity hidden from others who use the same device. It comes in handy when you want to keep your searches and purchased items confidential. Additionally, incognito mode can help disable tracking cookies and targeted ads, as well as enable you to log in with multiple accounts on a single website.
Once you close your incognito browsing session, any information you entered in forms will be erased. This ensures that users sharing the same device are protected from accidentally or maliciously filling out forms, signing up for services or making payments using your personal details.
These privacy features offer a basic level of website security. However, it’s important to note that these privacy benefits only apply within your individual private browsing session and for other users of the same device.

What does incognito mode accomplish?

Using incognito mode prevents your browsing activity from being stored once your session ends, safeguarding it from others who use the same device. When an incognito browser window is closed, it immediately deletes your search history, cookies and various other data that may have been downloaded during your time in incognito mode.

How to use private browsing

Incognito mode offers several features;
  1. It automatically deletes cookies and browsing history once you close your browser.
  2. It helps in preventing online tracking, specifically ad tracking.
  3. It safeguards sensitive information, such as passwords and personal data.
  4. You can conveniently log in to multiple accounts on the same website.
  5. It assists in managing browser extensions by automatically disabling them while using incognito mode.
Here’s how you can use private browsing in different web browsers;
Private browsing in Chrome;
To activate Incognito mode on Google Chrome, follow these steps;
  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click on the menu icon (three vertical dots on Mac or three stacked lines on Windows) located at the top right corner.
  3. Select “New Incognito Window” to open a new private browsing window.
  4. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+N to quickly open a new incognito window. You’ll know it’s an incognito window by its dark background and the spy icon next to the menu.
Keep in mind that when using Incognito mode, Chrome won’t save your browsing history, cookies, site data or form information. However, any files you download and bookmarks you create will still be retained.
Other browsers might have different names for private browsing – Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple Safari refer to it as ‘Private Browsing’, while Microsoft Edge calls it ‘InPrivate’.When using Safari’s private browsing mode, any temporary files such as browsing history, form data and cookies are automatically deleted when you close the window.
To enable private browsing on a Mac;
  1. Open Safari.
  2. Go to the menu bar and click on “File”.
  3. Choose the option “Private Window” to open a private window.
  4. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+N to quickly open a private browsing window in Safari.

Why should you use incognito mode while surfing the internet? 

Incognito mode is generally known for deleting your browsing history and cookies once you close the session. However, it doesn’t delete bookmarks or downloaded data. Deleting browsing history can be helpful when multiple people use the same computer, as it prevents subsequent users from seeing which websites were previously visited.
Even when using incognito mode, internet providers, network administrators and employers can often monitor the websites you visit. Private mode doesn’t offer complete protection against trackers or analysis tools that websites use to track browsing behavior. It also doesn’t safeguard against malware like keyloggers or spyware. Some browsers like Mozilla Firefox have additional security features apart from incognito mode.
When browsing in private mode, other users of the same computer won’t be able to check your previous browsing history. Most browsers also delete cookies while in incognito mode. However, it’s important to note that incognito mode doesn’t ensure anonymous surfing. If you want to truly anonymize your browsing activities, you should explore alternative options.

Additional FAQ

1.What does incognito mode mean on a computer? 
When you use Incognito mode, none of your browsing history, cookies or information entered in forms will be saved on your device. This ensures that your activity is not recorded in your Chrome browser history, so anyone else using your device won’t be able to see what you’ve been doing.
2.Can hackers detect what you do in incognito mode?
Using incognito mode does not provide protection against advanced hacking techniques or malware that can compromise your security. If a hacker gains control of your device, they have various methods at their disposal to monitor your online activities, regardless of whether you are using incognito mode or regular browsing.
3.Who can see your activity in incognito mode?
It’s important to note that incognito mode does not prevent web tracking. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), employer, the websites you visit, search engines, government agencies and other third party entities can still track and monitor your browsing activities even when you are using incognito mode.
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