All of us who have used a computer at any point in life must be aware of one of its features called “incognito mode” or “private browsing mode” or “private window.” It is a very good feature if you wish to do some “anonymous browsing”. 

How safe is Incognito mode

Although there are some other methods to achieve it as well, today we will be only discussing “incognito mode” in detail. For those other anonymous browsing methods, you can visit our friends at VPNRanks for further information. 

Whether you wish to keep your private and professional life separate, stop your siblings from snooping in your internet activity, purchasing a gift for someone online and trying to keep it a secret, or just want to limit the amount of data different companies collect from your browsing history. Incognito mode or private browsing mode is made for such scenarios. 

But the question here is, “how safe are these incognito modes or private browsing modes?”. 

To find an answer to our question, we first need to determine what an incognito mode even is.

The simplest way to explain would be like this – as soon as you close your incognito mode window, your browser forgets about the browsing session that was happening over it. Meaning, all your browsing history, and cookies will be wiped out. 

As much as we would like it to be this simple, unfortunately, it isn’t. While incognito mode would make sure not to record your browsing history, cookies, and data, you entered the form. Your browsing activity might still be noticeable to websites you visit, your employer or school, or your internet service provider. 

Now that we know, only incognito mode is not safe for you, is there anything else you can do to increase your privacy during online browsing? 

Yes – There are two things you can do, on top of using incognito mode to increase your privacy. Let’s get right into them one by one. 

Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network or simply referred to as a VPN is a tool that encrypts your online traffic and transfers this information through a secure network tunnel that it has already created for you. Even if someone looks at your data, they will not be able to do anything with it since the data will already be in encrypted form. 

All of the VPN providers have multiple VPN servers worldwide. When you link to one of these servers, your data is encrypted and routed through this new server. 

With the connection to this server, you will now have a new IP address that will mask your real Internet Service Provider’s IP address. This way, the websites you access will not be able to see your actual IP address. This way, you will be hiding from your Internet Service Provider and the website you will be visiting. 

Almost all VPN providers offer their software which you can download and install on your devices. They are configurable on all the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, and Linux. Don’t worry if all this is new to you, as help is always available if you need to set up a VPN on your devices.

Incognito mode prevents the browser from recording any history, cache, and cookies, and a VPN will create an encrypted tunnel for you so that your online activity can’t be decoded by anyone, including your Internet Service Provider. 

When these two works together, they make an ultimate security tool that ensures your complete online privacy at all times. Apart from providing you an encrypted tunnel for data transfer, a VPN has many other advantages as well. 

Browser Compartmentalization 

This is more of a privacy technique than a tool. In this technique, a user will use more than one browser on their device simultaneously. The trick here is not switching between the browsers but dedicating each browser for a specific purpose. This technique is starting to gain popularity, and while it may seem very simple, it is quite useful. 

Now let’s see how it will work.

Users will use the first browser to access the websites they need to log into. For example, social media websites, bank accounts, shopping websites, etc., will only be done on this first browser. 

Here is the crucial part, users will never use this first browser for browsing the internet or accessing any other standard website which doesn’t require any login. Let’s call this browser “login browser.”

The second browser will be used for regular and random internet browsing. On this browser, not a single website that requires any authentication in terms of account login will ever be accessed. Let’s call this browser “regular browser.”

By doing this, you have now split your internet browsing into two parts. You will achieve privacy and anonymity without having to compromise any of your access to the website that requires your login. 

Since you will never log into an account on your “regular browser,” therefore, the websites will not be able to track you and keep a record of your data. You can also enhance the privacy of this browser by adding few privacy extensions. 

You can also enable incognito mode for your “regular browser” so that you do not have to worry about any history, cookies, or cache being recorded for your browsing session. 

The reason behind this technique’s success lies in the nature of the browsers. You see, browsers do not share data among themselves. They do not share history, cookies, or cache. 

So, when you log in to your Facebook or Google account on “login browser,” the “regular browser” will be unaware of the tracker they have put on you in the “login browser.”

While it is not the perfect technique available, it is still the best one to make it hard for websites and organizations to track your online activities. 

That’s all we have for you to mask your online activity and personal data from the people who have access to your device or the hackers, trackers, or other organizations responsible for internet surveillance.