Incognito was released as a feature in Apple`s safari browser in 2005. If you are keen in hiding your online activity from prying eyes, odds are you know about incognito mode. Nowadays private browsing modes are included in virtually every internet browser under various names — but just how private are they?

How do I enter incognito mode?

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To enter incognito mode, If you’re using Chrome or Safari, press cmd+shift+n (or ctrl+shift+n on Windows) to open a private browsing window. If you’re on Firefox, press cmd+shift+p (ctrl+shift+p on Windows). Different browsers might use different key combinations to engage incognito mode, but once you’ve got a private window open, they all operate basically the same way.

What does incognito mode do?

As we all know that Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ mode is a browsing mode within the Chrome browser that allows users to surf the internet without any of their browsing history being saved within Chrome. When using ‘Incognito’ mode, all your browsing history is automatically deleted, and when the ‘Incognito’ window is closed, all the cookies that have been created during that session are also deleted.

Most of them use this mode under the impression that this is a safer way to be browsing the net. It certainly is a good way to ensure that other people using your computer or device don’t see what websites you’ve been on, but does it actually make your Internet experience safe and secure?

Actually the main benefit of using ‘Incognito’ is, If someone needs to sign into a site you’re already logged into (Gmail, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) on your computer, just have them open an incognito window. It’ll let them sign in without kicking you off, and it’s easier than opening a totally different browser — even better, they don’t even have to worry about signing out since their session is terminated as soon as the incognito window’s closed.

What DOESN’T it do?

While incognito mode is great for hiding activity from other, you won’t have the same luck with hackers or the government. Incognito mode does NOT hide activity from your ISP, nor does it prevent the sites you visit from logging your activities while you’re on the page. In other words, if you’re downloading movies from torrent sites or conducting similarly illicit “research,” the government will still be able to obtain records of that activity from the company that’s giving you access to the internet.

Lastly, ‘Incognito’ browsing absolutely does NOT prevent your employer from viewing your activity if you’re using a work computer. Many employers these days use key-logging software to track what you type on company computer, but even if that’s not the case, there’s nothing to stop them from viewing traffic to your computer’s IP address if you’re on their network.

This does not mean that your boss is necessarily watching what you do 24/7. Unless you’re doing something to raise red flags.

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