Why Incognito Mode Doesn’t Actually Protect Your Privacy

Think you are safe using the Internet on incognito mode? It might not be as secure as you think.
Interesting Engineering

Many people assume that if they don’t want to be virtually followed around the Internet, then all they need to do is head to the incognito tab on their browser. However, much like a celebrity attempting to dodge the paparazzi with nothing but a pair of sunglasses, this might not be as effective as you might think.

 The Internet is ever-changing, in turn affecting the way one must protect their online privacy. Let’s look at why Incognito Mode doesn’t actually protect your privacy. 


What Incognito Mode Actually Does

Incognito Mode is a feature which has been present on most Internet browsers for several years now. Most people click it when they don’t want their Internet history to be recorded. When you open this mode on a popular browser like Google Chrome, you will be greeted with a warning that the browser won’t save the history or cookies.

For this reason, incognito mode is very popular amongst people who are attempting to book holidays, for a simple example of why this function gets used. Since cookies aren’t saved, many people can look at preferred flights and accommodation options several times over without the cookies driving up the price.

However, Incognito Mode is not a blanket ban which stops your path on the Internet from being traced. The sites that you visit are still able to record the fact that you have been there and your internet service provider will also still be able to see the websites you are visiting. If you desire more privacy on the Internet, you are going to need more protection.

Where Can We Find This Privacy?

One of the greatest joys of the Internet is access to information and the ability to access this information freely. Due to this, we should not allow the big Internet providers like Google to watch over our shoulders as we explore the net. To stop them, the only truly viable solution is to install a piece of software called a VPN.

What is a VPN?

If you have never encountered this piece of tech before, you may find yourself asking, “What is a VPN, and what can it actually do for me?”

It is quite simple, a VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a piece of software which makes it appear like you are accessing the Internet from another country. Any requests you send through the VPN, such as to access a certain webpage, are pinged across to a server in another country and fulfilled there instead. This connection is secure and encrypted so it cannot be accessed from the outside.

You can use a VPN to mask the paths you are taking on the Internet, so no-one can follow you. It is currently the only way for you, and it is becoming a much-needed tool for everyone.

Why Incognito Mode Doesn’t Actually Protect Your Privacy
Source: Microstockhub/iStock

What Else Can a VPN Do?

Obviously, VPNs hide your activity online, but they also allow you to do much more. Governments are beginning to impose unreasonable restrictions on the web in their country, which threatens to harm the Internet freedoms of their citizens seriously. A VPN allows you to bypass these restrictions, but you should check whether or not VPNs are legal in your country; some places put some pretty hefty reprimands in place against anyone who would use this tech, and the legal ramifications might be more than you can afford.

There are three main uses of VPNs in otherwise currently unrestricted countries. The first is above-added privacy, which should be reason enough for you to want a VPN. The second reason often cited is so that people in other countries can watch television.

American Netflix has a much more extensive library than the one available in the UK, and many people are choosing to log onto the one in the States to enjoy these shows.

Likewise, the online streaming platform BBC iPlayer is only available to watch in the UK due to licensing issues. However, if you have a VPN, then you can access iPlayer and watch some fantastic British television long before it gets anywhere near the other streaming markets.

Finally, people choose to use VPNs to access information otherwise unavailable to them. Many news sites tend to be blocked to those outside their country, but many people like to read them for a clear picture of the news or an alternative viewpoint. The only way to gain access to information like this is by using a VPN to say that your device is inside the country if you are not there.

Protect Yourself Now

It won’t be long before people are picking up VPNs like they do anti-viruses now. You need to make sure that your privacy online is protected before it is too late. Find the right VPN for you now to ensure that you have all the tools you need. Stop relying on Incognito Mode to hide your actions.

About the Author: Bernadine Racoma is a senior content writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. After her long stint as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her interest in writing and research. Like her poetry, she writes everything from the heart, and she treats each written piece a work of art. She loves dogs! You can find Bernadine Racoma on Facebook and Twitter.

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