What Does Browsing in Incognito Mode Really Do?

If you’re searching in Incognito Mode you’re protecting your privacy right? Maybe you don’t want your private searches to appear on your work laptop; maybe you’re looking for Christmas gifts for your kids and you don’t want to ruin the surprise. The possibilities are endless.

Many people use Incognito Mode because the never ending ads popping up on Facebook can get really annoying after a while. Well the idea is right, in theory, but there are a few limitations with Incognito Mode. That cute incognito flexicon does protect your privacy from other users of your device but not so much from web trackers.

First of all, how to go Incognito

If you’re using Google Chrome, it’s pretty simple;

  1. Head to the top right hand corner of your browser’s address bar and click on the iconic three vertical dots.
  2. Click on the third selection from the pop up menu, ‘New Incognito Tab’ and a black screen will open up in a new tab. You can also use the shortcut Control+Shift+N for Windows and Command+Shift+N on Mac.
  3. Start browsing.

Browsing in this setup will not save the following stats;

  • browsing data,
  • cookies and site data or
  • information entered into fields.

Some information that might still be gathered from;

  • the websites that you visit,
  • your employer or school details and
  • your internet service provider.

Browsers generally store URLs to make it easier for you to find that search in the future. When you’re in incognito mode the browsing function works somewhat differently. Browning history is not stored locally, but that doesn’t mean they are not stored elsewhere. Browsers store cookies; data files that can automatically complete user credentials for example. They also track locations that can be accessed for advertising companies to help find their target clients easier.

Does incognito really work?

Well, it depends how you look at it. If you’re just trying to keep your private, possibly adult-content, browsing habits away from other users of your device, then yes. You’re probably safe. But if it’s your boss, your internet provider or the websites you visit are the ones you’re trying to ‘keep’ things from, then… no, not really. Incognito mode basically does not store cookies, temporary files and browsing history – but stats are still transferred to the above mentioned.

Does this mean that private mode is not so private? Incognito mode does not make you anonymous. Not at all. All details are tracked and stored by big corporate brands and other official organisations for statistical purposes. This analysis generally improves our experiences on online platforms – but not all users feel this is fair.

There are many users who find this as a massive invasion of privacy. What’s your opinion?