Private Browsing: What is it and What it is not.
My dad often checked emails on my laptop. And yesterday he asked, “Why do I always see your Gmail account log in when I open mine?”
The answer is simple. Since this is my personal computer, I am not logged out of my Google account. Of course, I’ll explain the reason and show him how to use a private browser.
He now checks his email in the Chrome incognito window. He doesn’t need to log out every time he opens Gmail, and I don’t need to log in again when he does. A win-win situation for both.
So here we are two conclusions. First, my dad is not tech-savvy (understandably). Secondly, a little knowledge made our life easier. And I’m sure; the same will happen to you.
Read also: How to stay anonymous on the Internet
So what exactly is a private browser?
This feature is present in most browsers, whether mobile or desktop. Private Browser allows you to browse the web without saving your browsing history or cookies. This way, you hide your browsing history from other people using the same computer.
But there is a big misconception about a private browser. People often think this might make them anonymous. What’s wrong. Only people using your computer won’t see your online activity, but the rest of the Internet can.
How does a private browser work?
Let’s say you discovered a funny cat video on YouTube last week. And now you want to show it to your friends. But the problem is that you don’t remember its name. No problems. You can still find this video in your browser history. Right!
Now let’s assume a different situation. You are planning a birthday surprise for your brother or sister. And you google party ideas and order gifts online. But if your brother or sister uses the same computer, he might suspect your little secret. How?
Either from your browser history, you forgot to delete , or from cookies that will attract targeted advertising. So, to avoid this problem, we are using a private browser.
However, there is a fine line between when to use a private browser and when not . But before we get started, let’s see how to enable “private browsing mode” in some popular browsers. (click the image to enlarge it)
When to use a private browser
Private browser does not store your history, cookies. So use it when:
You buy surprise gifts for someone
The private search that you want others to see
Avoid auto-filling history on public computer
To log in multiple Facebook or Google accounts in one browser
Want to see search results for people who are not signed in to their Google account
By default, the extension does not work in a private browser. So use it to test your webpage
Hotel and airline booking sites often raise prices for regular customers. They do this by tracking your browser cookies. Therefore, if you suspect such activity, use a private browser.
When not to use a private browser
As I said, a private browser does not make you anonymous. This will not change your IP address. Your ISP, your employer, and your ISP still know who you are. Therefore, never use it for “illegal searches” that you don’t want them to see.
What’s more, every bookmark or download you save is saved as in normal browsing, so don’t use them to download a file you’re not trying to find.
How do I browse the web anonymously?
There are many ways to hide your IP. For example, you can use proxy sites, install the ZenMate extension, or even use programs like TOR and UltraSurf to browse the web anonymously. They also help you access blocked websites at your college / office.
Read more: How to access blocked websites
Use duckduckgo , a popular search engine when using a private browser. This is the only search engine that doesn’t track you. This will not prevent your ISP or websites from tracking you. But at least Google doesn’t know what you’re looking for.