The incognito mode or private browsing mode can get us out of trouble, especially if we do not want our activity on the network to be recorded. However, there is a series of data that can change your perception about this modality and that show that our privacy on the network is not guaranteed.
- You can also read: How to use WhatsApp on PC: an easy guide.
What is incognito mode or private mode
? The correct term is “private mode”, although it is popularly known as “incognito mode” or “incognito tab”, since most users use Google Chrome as their main web browser. In any case, it is a privacy function offered by all web browsers today, with the exception of some on mobile devices.
When we use this function, the web browser will not save certain information . This means that elements such as cookies (which can be used by third parties for other purposes) will not be saved and no files will be stored in the cache memory. The latter is used to facilitate user navigation by loading pages faster, for example.
In the same way, the visit to the web pages will not be registered in the visit history, so they will not appear in the suggested searches when we write again in the navigation bar. Finally, the elements that we have previously stored for forms in the “autocomplete” option will not appear either.
How to open the private mode in each browser
Contrary to what many believe, the first browser to incorporate this function was not Google Chrome, but the term was applied to a function of the iOS Safari browser , in 2005. Since then, the rest of software to surf the net has been incorporating it. Below we specify how you can access incognito mode in the most popular browsers.
- In Google Chrome it receives the name of Incognito and is accessed by means of the CTRL+SHIFT+N combination.
- In Internet Explorer, currently Microsoft Edge , it is called InPrivate and you can access it by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+P.
- In Mozilla Firefox it is called “private mode” and is accessed through the combination CTRL+SHIFT+P.
- In the case of Opera , we can find it as “private browsing” and is accessed using CTRL+SHIFT+N.
- Finally, in Safari we can also open a private window by pressing the CTRL+SHIFT+N combination.
2 important facts about this function
Although all browsers warn the user when they enter private mode, most people have the false perception that they are browsing under complete anonymity. The reality is that the browser only acts locally (on your PC) and deleting cookies. This means two things:
1. Websites can see your activity
That your activity is not recorded in the browser does not mean that the administrators of the visiting websites cannot see it. Google specifies that this includes “ads and resources you use.” Anyway, in Firefox and Opera, the user can ask web pages not to track him , but never anonymously.
Information that appears when opening incognito mode. | Image from: Urban Character.
2. Providers can see your activity
Using private browsing does not imply that the companies that manage your Internet connection are unrelated to your activity. This includes the company you work for or the school you connect from , in case they want to know what you do. On the other hand, the private mode does not protect you from keyloggers (programs that record what you type on the keyboard) or malware that can be installed on your computer.
7 possible uses of incognito mode
Although everyone thinks of mature content when we talk about the incognito tab (and whoever says otherwise is lying), here are several useful uses that you may not have considered.
1. Test your website
Any techie or webmaster knows that he will have to deal with cache and cookies when testing his new website. Browsing with the incognito mode will allow you to see how the changes are going or how your website looks for any visitor.
2. Browse in the office
You don’t have to hide anything from your bosses, but if you’re browsing away from home and don’t want to leave a mark, incognito mode is the best solution. When you close the browser and another person reopens it,the sessions will have been closed and the websites you have visited will not appear in the history. Perfect to prevent your peers from trolling or gossiping on your social networks.
3. Send forms with private data
To prevent your personal data from being remembered by the browser, always use private browsing. We are talking about especially important procedures and procedures , those that directly affect your pocket.
4. Buy a ticket or book a hotel
We are going to reveal a little secret to you: some commercial websites vary their prices according to your browsing history. If you are buying a flight ticket or reserving a hotel room, we recommend that you make the purchase process in a private window. In addition to keeping your personal and bank details safe, prices are usually lower. Do the comparison yourself and you will be surprised.
5. Plan a surprise
Do you want to buy a gift for your partner or are you planning a romantic trip?
Do not make the mistake of browsing publicly, since later commercial advertisements related to your activity will appear on several pages, something that can make you suspicious. Likewise, keep the surprise safe by preventing your activity from appearing in the history.
6. Use other accounts without logging out
You may control multiple Gmail accounts at work, a service that doesn’t allow you to keep two accounts open at the same time. You may lend your computer to a friend to check his messages on Facebook and you don’t want to close your session. In both cases, it is best to open an incognito window and open multiple accounts of the same service .
7. Other private activities
In short, the private mode is for all those activities that you want to keep private. Obviously, not
Everyone is free to browse the pages they want (always with knowledge, we are not going to infect the PC).
Disable incognito mode in Windows 10
To prevent users connecting to your local network from using incognito mode, there is a procedure in Windows 10.
1. Press the ‘Windows’ + R key combination, type “regedit” and press Enter.
2. In the window that runs, do not go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-SOFTWARE-Policies-Google-Chrome
How to disable incognito mode in Windows 10. | Image from: Urban Character.
3. We right click on the Chrome folder, and in the “New” tab, we select “Value of DWORD (32 bits)” .
4. To this new value, we name it “IncognitoModeAvailability”, we give it the Information of value 1 with hexadecimal base.
5.If we want to re-enable the incognito mode , we repeat the process and assign the value the Information value 0.
How to browse completely privately
To maintain complete anonymity while browsing the net we can help ourselves with three tools : the Tor browser , which encrypts browsing and changes our IP to that of another country, launch a virtual machine within the same operating system (with programs like Virtual Box) and use a VPN connection (virtual private network). However, we have already warned in another article about other possible risks of browsing the Tor network and immersing yourself in the deep web.
- To know more: What is the Deep Web and how to enter safely