Incognito mode is the first choice of most people when they wish to do something confidential (or unnatural to their social image) on the internet. In such cases, people want to protect their internet activity from everyone including their peers, friends, and family. Yes, you know what I’m talking about.
Different browsers offer similar functionality under different names like Incognito, Private Browsing, InPrivate Mode or InPrivate Browsing.
‘Private’ means something ‘secret’ i.e. hidden from others, and ‘Incognito’ means ‘concealed identity.
Now many people think that browsing in Incognito or InPrivate mode will hide their internet activity and safeguard their activity from everyone. This is simply not true.
The ‘Incognito’ does not transmit any pre-existing cookies to the websites you visit and stores no browsing history.
However, the websites can still set new cookies while you are in Incognito which would be stored temporarily and deleted when you close all Incognito tabs. Also all files that you download in Incognito won’t show up in the browsing history, but they will be stored somewhere on your computer which can be accessed by anyone using the computer.
Any changes made to the browser configuration will remain intact even after you exit Incognito.
Here is how Google defines Incognito mode for its Chrome web browser:
“Incognito is a mode that opens a new window where you can browse the Internet in private without Chrome saving the sites you visit. You can switch between an incognito window and any regular Chrome browsing windows you have open. You’ll only be in incognito mode when you’re using the incognito window.”
Google also warns its users that the Incognito mode won’t protect their privacy from their internet service provider (ISP), employer (if you’re using a work computer), and the websites that they visit.
As mentioned above, your IP address is not hidden when you go Incognito. So whatever you do is still stored by your ISP. Any competent authority including your employer can get that information and sue you if any local laws are violated.
In order to be completely anonymous on the internet, you must mask your IP address by using either a VPN or a proxy.
However, it must be noted that no tool can ensure 100% anonymity on the internet. Many of the popular VPN providers claim to offer complete privacy to their users but there are no documents to support that.
So it is up to you. If you care about online privacy then you must use a VPN service. In case you are too paranoid about some information then it is better to keep it offline. Better safe than sorry. Isn’t it?
Disclaimer: We have written this article for educational purposes only. We are not in any way endorsing you to do anything illegal while being anonymous as it will land you up in the court of law.
Be safe. Be responsible.