How do I go incognito? Is incognito really safe? Incognito mode is an interesting browsing feature that can be very helpful. Here’s what you should know
Would you leave the house for a long trip without telling anyone where you were going and with no protection? Would you leave your house unlocked and trust that no one would be tempted to go inside and have look around?
The answer to all of these questions should be no. And you should approach your internet browsing in the same way. You need to take precautions, one of which is incognito browsing. But is Incognito really safe?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Incognito?
Incognito browsing is a mode of browsing that doesn’t record your browsing history, passwords, or other information when you surf the internet. Every major browser has a version of this.
On Safari — the browser of Macs and iPhones — this is called private browsing. On Google Chrome it’s called Incognito Mode and on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, it’s called InPrivate Browsing.
So, how do you go incognito on an Apple device? Generally, you should open your browser as normal and then press the file menu where there should be an option.
How to turn off incognito mode? Simply open a normal browser not an incognito one from the file menu.
It can be handy if you have a shared computer with family members or friends. If, for example, you want to look up or order a birthday present and you don’t want them to find out about it.
If you want to look at porn on the internet and have young children, a partner, or friends then you might want to use private browsing so they don’t see what you’ve looked at when you start typing in the search bar. However, remember incognito mode isn’t full proof.
Some people use Incognito as a standard tool for all of their internet browsing so that none of their search history is recorded. This could prove useful if your laptop is stolen or hacked into.
A hacker could look through your internet search history and easily discover what email provider you use and who you do your banking with. They could then set about hacking into these accounts. If you’ve used incognito browsing they won’t know what banks or email services you use and so this could make their job more difficult.
Can It Stop the Government From Tracking My Internet History?
A key question that people ask is, “can incognito mode be tracked by the government?”. If you were to look up material that was illegal — for instance, if you used your computer to buy drugs — could the government find out about it?
The simple answer is incognito browsing only prevents the average user from being able to view your search history, your internet service provider and the government tracks your history regardless of the type of browser you use.
While many people suspected that organizations such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and their British counterpart the Government Communications Headquarters (GVHQ) were monitoring the public, Edward Snowden’s revelations confirmed this to be the case.
Following this revelation governments, it is now the law in many countries around the world for your internet service provider to maintain your internet search history for around one year.
There are few ways to avoid surging the internet and avoid detection by the government in the post-Snowden era.
Can It Stop My Employer From Tracking My Internet History?
If you use private browsing at work or on a work computer then your employer would still be able to track you. Many companies like to monitor their employees to ensure that they are not spending all of their time on social media rather than working.
Many companies will enforce an adult content filter to prevent employees from looking at porn. But you can generally circumnavigate these and attempts to do so will be detected by your employer.
Employers can also track you even if you use incognito browsing on a work laptop. If your employer offers you a work laptop try to only use this for official business. Looking at porn or other inappropriate material could be a disciplinary offense. It could even lead to you being fired.
Is It the Only Protection You Should Take?
Incognito browsing is not the only protection you can take to disguise your internet browsing and protect your privacy online.
You should also consider downloading a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This disguises your internet protocol (IP) address and can trick the websites you visit into thinking you are in a different country.
It’s useful if you want to access location locked content such as Netflix, Amazon, or Britain’s BBC iPlayer. But it can also be a good way of keeping yourself anonymous online.
Websites won’t be able to track you or offer you adverts based on your browsing. You could consider investing in a VPN.
You can also take other precautions such as using a password generator for your passwords. This will give you a secure password composed of random numbers, characters, and letters for every different website you use. But there is no need to remember them or write them all down.
A special program that you can activate using touch ID or a password that you do remember will store all of these passwords securely for you.
Is Incognito Really Safe? It Depends on What You Want to Use It For
Incognito browsing is safe depending on what you want to use it for. You should also consider using other protections as well such as a VPN. Your incognito history is tracked by the government and your internet service provider (ISP).
But when you use your computer if you use incognito your friends and family cannot see what websites you have visited.
Are you interested in learning more about the answer to the question, “is incognito really safe?”. Then be sure to check out the rest of our site.