Privacy is a precious commodity in this era. Every website you visit or app you download leaves a digital footprint that can be tracked by anyone. Fortunately, major web browsers all offer private browsing features to keep your internet activity somewhat safe from prying eyes.
What is private browsing?
Your web browser -- whether it be Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera -- remembers the URLs of the sites you visit, cookies that track your activity, passwords you’ve used, and temporary files you’ve downloaded.
This can be convenient if you frequently visit certain pages, can’t remember your login details, or if you’re trying to recall a website you visited a few days ago. But if someone else uses or gains access to your computer, your most private (and embarrassing) internet activities are exposed for anyone to see.
With private browsing -- also called Incognito Mode in Chrome and InPrivate Browsing in Edge -- all the information listed above does not get recorded. In fact, all the websites and information you accessed in the private browsing session is immediately discarded without a trace as soon as you close the browser. This can come in handy when you’re using a public computer because you’re instantly logged out of all the accounts after closing the window.
Your cookies also won’t be tracked. In a normal browsing session, sites like Facebook will inundate you with highly targeted ads based on the sites and pages you’ve visited. But in private browsing mode, your internet activity won’t be used against you by marketing companies.
Another benefit of private browsing is you can use it to log in to several accounts on the same site, which is useful if you need to log into two different Google accounts at the same time.
Limitations of private browsing
Although private browsing does prevent your web browser from storing your data, it doesn’t stop anyone from snooping on your current activities. If your computer is connected to the company network, system administrators can still keep track of what you’re browsing even if you’re in Incognito Mode.
Also, if spyware or keylogger malware is installed on your computer, hackers will still be able to see what you’re doing online. Even though private browsing has quite a few benefits, you shouldn’t solely depend on it for online privacy.
Your computers must be equipped with Virtual Private Networks that encrypt your internet connection and prevent anyone from intercepting your data. And don’t forget to scan your computer for viruses with a strong anti-malware program to keep spyware and other malicious web monitoring software at bay.
If you want to know where you can get these solutions or learn more about web browser security, call us today. We have the tools and expert advice you need to prevent anyone from snooping on your internet browsing.