Incognito mode is a private window that you can open within your regular browser, and it is a place where you can browse the internet without your “history being saved on your device when your browsing session ends” (avast).
The cookies, which are “little bits of identifying data that follow you around the internet, and other traces from your browsing history aren’t saved after you end your private browsing session” (avast).
Although it may seem like a good idea to use incognito mode, you should understand that your online activity isn’t actually hidden from websites, search engines, or network administrators. We will discuss later in this article whether an incognito mode is as safe as we really think it is.
When using incognito mode, you are viewed as a “new visitor” on each website you are on, and every site assumes that it is your first time visiting their page. Here are some of the reasons why people use incognito mode:
For example, I use incognito mode to purchase airline tickets to ensure that the price won’t increase.
However, if I were to do the same on a regular browser, the price may increase since the web page knows that I am interested in purchasing airline tickets for a specific date range.
Keep in mind, though, that “depending on the browser you’re using, opening a new incognito window while you already have one open may not start a second session” (avast).
Safari treats each private window opened & tab as a new session.
On the other hand, Chrome treats all incognito windows opened and tabs opened as the same session, and the session ends when all incognito windows and tabs are closed.
Although incognito mode hides your search history, it does not mask your IP address, which plays a big part in your device’s identity online. As a result, incognito mode isn’t “enough if you aim to hide your online activity from other users on your network” (avast). You cannot use incognito mode to hide your geo-location, so anyone will still be able to see your country, city, ISP, and zip code.
Therefore, if you want to hide your IP address and your internet activity from others, you should use a VPN. You can use a VPN along with incognito mode for secured protection.
Who Can See Your Incognito History?
Using incognito mode is a great way to “prevent your cookies and browsing history from being saved after your session, but that doesn’t mean your activity is completely invisible” (avast). Even though you closed the incognito browser to end the session, the following may still be visible and can identify you if you don’t manually delete your incognito history:
Incognito mode can be “incognito” if you understand and know how to use incognito mode. So, yes, it is safe, but only to an extent. As mentioned in the earlier section, If you want full protection, then you should consider using a VPN on top of incognito mode. Again, don’t forget about what you can and can’t do whilst in incognito mode.
While using incognito mode, you can:
While using incognito mode, do not:
Please also understand that incognito mode only protects your browsing history and removes cookies once the session is closed. It does not protect you against any viruses or malware if you were to get infected. At best, incognito mode “might be able to remove some malicious cookies, though there’s no guarantee it really does that.” (cactusvpn)
Do not only rely on incognito mode because you think that it will keep you safe. Incognito is safe only if you know how to use it and what it actually protects you from.
Incognito mode can be used to have a more private browsing session and can be viewed as a new visitor on multiple web pages.
However, as we have learned, incognito mode has some limitations, making it possible for others to identify your IP and device.