What Incognito Mode Can and Cannot Protect

A couple weeks ago, someone online posted a comment saying you can stay “safe and secure” online due to using the web browser’s incognito mode.

Is this true. Does incognito mode really prevent someone from ever tracking you online?

Short answer: no

Long answer:

People believe the myth that the incognito mode – on your web browser – will keep you safe and private. However this is not the case.

Incognito mode only does the following:

  • prevents web history from being logged locally
  • prevents download history from being logged locally
  • prevents cookies & cache data from being stored locally

In other words, incognito mode will prevent someone from spying on you, just by opening the web browser and viewing the web history and downloads.

Now what does incognito mode not protect against?

  • Malware on the system — Any malware on the system will be totally unaffected by your use of incognito mode.
  • IT department — Your IT department will still be able to track your Internet usage on their network. This is especially true if you use their local DNS resolvers. They will know what websites you visit, regardless of your use of incognito mode.
  • Internet Service Provider — Unless you make use of a VPN service, your ISP will definitely know where you go online, regardless of your use of incognito mode.
  • Government surveillance — Of course, incognito mode will be of no use to you here. Also, even using a VPN will not help much if you are being targeted by a government.

The link below helps prove that any browser being in “private” or “incognito” mode (whatever you want to call it) does nothing to prevent 3rd parties from spying on you.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-google-privacy-lawsuit-idUSKBN23933H


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Security, Software, VPN