What Private Browsing Can And Can’t Do

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Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

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These days you’re more aware of how much data you’re giving companies, simply when you browse online. That’s obviously not ideal, so you’ll use private browsing on your browser of choice. This is called private browsing mode on Firefox, Opera and Safari, while it’s called ‘Incognito’ on Chrome and ‘InPrivate’ on Edge.

Many people have now made private internet surfing their go method when they’re browsing the Internet, but they’re not as secure as they may think. There are several things that private internet browsing can do and not do, so here’s what you need to know.

The text in the image says, what private browsing can and can't do and te background of the image shows a computer screen displaying Private with tags

How Private Browsing Works?

Never used private internet browsing before? Then here is what to know before you give it a try.

When you use your browser of choice normally it is going to store data about you and your browsing habits. This includes cookies data you have filled out in forms user names and passwords and so on. Typically these are used to make browsing easier as you would not need to fill out forms again and it is easier to find the info you want.

There are several reasons why you may not want this to happen though. The most common reason people use private browsing mode is that they are concerned about their privacy. As such they decide to use the private browsing mode on their browser.

When you use private internet browsing, you will see that you are given a clean slate every time you use it. No cookies are stored form data is not stored and so on. Once you close the browser the slate is wiped clean again and no data will be stored. The only exception is that any sites your favorite or bookmark during that session will be saved the next time you open the browser.

What Private Browsing Can Do?

So private internet browsing does look good for those looking to protect your privacy. There are several reasons why you will want to look into it including:

Easy to use on someone else device:

If you are borrowing someone else device you do not want to accidentally log them out of any sites. Hit private browsing and you can log into any sites through that browser without affecting their data.

Good for shared devices:

There are always going to be times when you are using a shared device but do not want others to see your browsing history such as when you are buying a gift. Private browsing mode allows you to hide that history 

Protect your recommendations:

You know that once you watch something or view something online it will affect your future recommendations. You can use private internet surfing to ensure your recommendations are not affected by what you are viewing right now. You can download apps for private browsing on Rear PC.

What Private Browsing Can’t Do?

These are lots of benefits to private browsing, but there are some things it just can’t do. Here’s what you need to be aware of:

Won’t make you anonymous:

“It feels like you’re anonymous when you’re using private internet browsing, but you’re not” says Darren Beale, a tech blogger from Academic Brits. “Your school, employer etc. can see what you’re viewing. To stay anonymous, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network.”

It’s not as secure as you’d think:

While using private internet surfing to shop online, it’s not going to make buying goods any more secure. You’ll also see that it can’t stop you downloading viruses or malware by accident.

Will still collect data during the session:

It’s true that once you close that browser, the slate will be wiped clean. However, the longer you leave the page open, pages will still be able to collect data on you, and cookies will be saved. It’s a good idea to shut the page frequently to remove this data as you use the browser.

Is Private Browsing Really Private?

Private browsing is designed to keep information hidden from third-party entities but it is important for users to bear in mind that private browsing does not protect their personal data from certain third-party tracking and does not prevent activities such as monitored streaming or downloading. Ultimately private browsing may offer a degree of privacy but the user should bear in mind the limits of the tool and take extra steps if they wish to ensure a greater level of privacy. Private browsing should be used strategically rather than blindly trusting it as security blanket.