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Is Browsing in Incognito Mode Safe?

Graham Cook  — March 9, 2019

Chances are that you’ve wanted to add an extra layer of privacy to your life at some point. It would be more surprising to us if you hadn’t, to be honest. That’s why so many of us have made use of a private browsing feature when we’re online.

After all, what we do on the Web is our business, right? In fact, browsing the Internet in “incognito mode” is probably more common than you could ever guess. And you probably feel pretty secure when you do it, even with those disclaimers saying private browsing doesn’t hide everything from your employer, Internet Service Provider, or the sites you visit.

But if private browsing isn’t hiding your online activity, what is it doing? And more importantly, is incognito mode safe? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about private Web browsing.

Regular vs. Private Browsing

If you’ve never stopped to think about the differences between a normal browser window and a private one, now’s the time to find out the basics of private Internet browsing…

Regular Online Browsing

Popular web browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox use the info you enter into their search or address bar to take you to your online destination. They also store that data on your computer for a variety of reasons.

Your online activity, cookies, and browsing history are all recorded in an effort to improve your time on the Web. Unfortunately, that personal info is also available to hackers and anyone that can view your browsing activity, such as your employer or Internet Service Provider.

Private Online Browsing

Many of the best browsers offer a private way to use the Internet, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. When you use incognito mode with any of these browsers, your browsing history, and other private data isn’t recorded, as it’s deleted as soon as you close the private browsing window.

Incognito mode has become super popular in recent years, due to it preventing sites like Facebook and Instagram from keeping tabs on your online activity and using it to show you advertisements geared toward your browsing history. It also comes in handy for online banking sessions or for when you want to keep personal conversations truly private.

Disadvantages of Incognito Mode

By now, using private mode in your browser of choice probably sounds pretty darn good. But is it truly as anonymous as you think it is? That’s definitely something to think about before putting all your trust into using it.

Incognito mode doesn’t keep your ISP from knowing which websites you visit or how long you spend online at any given time. It also doesn’t hide your IP address, which means anyone can see your actual physical location when you’re connected to the Internet.

So, what does incognito mode do for you? Private browsing makes sure that none of your online activity is stored on your computer or in your Google account. It’s also helpful when it comes to making sure your Web history can’t be seen by anyone with access to your Mac or PC.

But if you want to keep what you do online truly private, you need to go one step further…

Get True Online Privacy with a VPN

While you can’t have guaranteed Internet safety 100% of the time, there are definitely some ways to make sure that your personal info stays as private as possible when you’re online, and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is at the top of the list.

VPNs are your safest bet when it comes to online anonymity, thanks to making it quick and easy for you to change your IP address and hide your location from prying eyes. All of your data is also encrypted before leaving your computer or mobile device, which gives you military-grade security and privacy.

Many of the best VPNs offer low-cost monthly or yearly subscription fees and provide excellent desktop and mobile apps to make connecting safely and securely to the Internet as easy as possible.

Take Digital Security to the Next Level

If you want to keep yourself safe from hackers, scammers, or even just nosy roommates, you can increase your online privacy by combining a VPN with incognito mode. This will keep your passwords safe and your browsing history private and secure.

You’ll be protected against your ISP or anyone else snooping around your personal information and what you do on the Internet. Be sure to do your research on the top-rated VPNs before choosing one to trust with your private data.

And now you know that incognito mode is safe to use, even though private browsing alone is far from having an online cloak of invisibility. Take the time to connect with a VPN before firing up incognito mode and you’ll be safer than you ever thought was possible on the Internet!