It has been believed for a long time that incognito mode is the safest browser to use when you’re required to do private searches. This, however, is false. Incognito mode may erase your search queries, but it does not secure any personal data.
This guide will bust all your myths about Chrome’s incognito mode and how unsafe it is.
Top 5 myths about incognito mode
1. My IP address and search queries would not be revealed
That statement is a complete hoax! An incognito tab allows users to use the private browser and leave no trail of activity on their device. But, it does not, in any way, determine that your search queries are not being recorded. Even while using the incognito mode, your search queries and your IP address are being tracked by your Internet Service Provider, the organization of whom the internet you’re using e.g. your office, and the Government.
The incognito mode will only erase your search history, tabs, activity, and downloads locally from your device.
2. Advertisers would be unable to target me
Advertisers can and would always be able to track your incognito streaming. Incognito tab does not mean that your information or search queries are not being stored. Google collects your search patterns, even while using an incognito window, against your Google account. This enables it to sell your data to third-party advertisers so they can easily target you for their advertisements. Incognito or any private browser has nothing to do with it.
Advertisers can also track your geolocation to display advertisements according to your locale.
3. Incognito mode will protect me from malware
Fun fact? You’re wrong! Malware and viruses can quickly enter your PC or any other device through incognito mode as easily as they can enter your regular browser window. Incognito does not change it in any way. To download files from any browser, you need a good antivirus/anti malware installed on your PC, and you should run it often before any damage takes place.
So, if you’ve been randomly downloading files on your laptops and smartphones with incognito, assuming no malware would enter it, well, think again.
4. My location would not be tracked while using incognito mode
If you think this is true, then the next sentence would be a reality check to you. Incognito mode does not restrict your location from being available to anyone. While incognito does say, “Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity,” it mentions clearly that only the people who use this device would be restrained from reviewing your browser history. The only way to keep yourself completely anonymous is by using a VPN. Only VPNs can hide your activity while enabling you to enjoy complete anonymity.
5. I can’t get hacked while using incognito
Let’s bust this one final myth for you guys. Shall we?
Incognito mode is no angel. It runs the same as a regular browser, except that it would not store your search data/history on your device or on any device you use a private browser on. Incognito can allow hackers to review your history and attack you. This private browser does not provide any protection from anything. Like malware and viruses can reach you, so can hackers.
What is the incognito mode, and what is it used for?
Like a mask allows you to cover your face revealing your identity, the incognito mode works the same, but with your search history. Incognito tabs enable users to surf the internet freely. Once the tab is closed, this mode would delete the entire search history from your device, allowing the user complete privacy over his searches. Incognito modes restrict search queries of a user to be seen by another.
Incognito tab is a private window that enables a user to surf the internet without leaving a trace once the window is closed. If you share your PC with someone and need to surf something secretly, then you can switch on the incognito. This mode deletes the search history, cookies, temporary files, and logins that a normal browser collects for data collection as soon as the incognito window is closed, leaving no traces of any activity behind. This way, while your ISP would have tabs over your searches, the next person who uses the same device wouldn’t.
Are there any benefits of going incognito?
Yes! There are some benefits of going incognito:
Keeps your search habits anonymous:
The incognito mode allows you to remain anonymous on a public or shareable computer by deleting your search history, logins, and all tabs as soon as you close the incognito window. This mode is the best when you’re using a public computer or when you need to purchase something without informing anyone.
Deletes cookies and all temporary files:
When you visit various websites, they collect each user’s cookies by collecting data and information about them. This allows websites to track the search habits of the user to send targeted ads towards it. When you close the incognito window, all cookies or temporary files are erased immediately. Hence, a user would never see any ads according to the searches made through an incognito browser.
Enables logging in from multiple accounts:
While a regular browser allows logging in from a single account, incognito mode enables a user to log into multiple accounts through multiple incognito windows. A user can log into its office account and usual account at the same time.
How do I turn on Incognito mode on Chrome?
If you don’t know how to turn on Chrome’s incognito mode, this guide is for you!
- Open a Chrome window.
- Use Ctrl+Shift+N or click the three-dot Chrome menu button on your top-right.
- Select “New Incognito Window” from the drop-down bar.
- A new window displaying “You’ve gone incognito” will open.
Once it opens, you can use the window for all your private searches. If you’re thinking about how to go incognito on your phone, understand that incognito on the phone is used the same way!
How to turn off incognito:
Just click the “x” at the top-right corner, and your incognito tab will shut down immediately, erasing all your browsing history.
How do I block my IP address from being tracked?
Yes, incognito tracks your IP address and shares it with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). To stay completely anonymous, you need to install a VPN on your device. Only a VPN can enable complete anonymity and restrict your ISP, your organization to whom the Wi-Fi belongs, and the government from locating your details. We highly recommend ExpressVPN for this purpose.
Which other apps and browsers offer incognito mode?
Other than Google Chrome, the following apps and browsers offer private browsing for users:
- Google’s Play Store, Maps, and YouTube all have incognito modes.
- Microsoft Edge has InPrivate Browsing available in Windows 10.
- Opera has Private tabs.
- Safari has Private Browsing for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Should I use incognito and VPN together?
Yes, it is recommended to use a VPN with incognito mode. An incognito window will restrict your search history from being saved in your device, while a VPN will secure your browsing history, IP address, and geolocation from reaching your ISP. Using a VPN along with incognito will provide you with backup safety, thereby enabling a secure search. If you wish to remain completely anonymous from everywhere, then this method is precisely for you.
Incognito mode isn’t as safe as you think it is. That’s why, we busted the five most common myths that most users have about the incognito mode. With that said and done, we wish you safe browsing.