Modern browsers these days come with the incognito mode that is touted to allow users to surf the net privately. Under Firefox, this is referred to as the Private Browsing feature. However, this should not have you thinking that your incognito windows are going to preserve your internet browsing activities with the highest integrity. In fact, the incognito mode can only help you avoid some low-level tracking methods but it is still lacking when you truly want to stay anonymously online. Let’s find out exactly what the incognito mode CAN and CANNOT do in this post.
What the Incognito Mode Can Do
- Safeguard you against browser fingerprinting
Browser fingerprinting is an increasingly popular method of collecting information online by websites. Websites that you visit will use this tracking method to gather data about your browser details, including the extensions or add-ons you are using.
- Prevent your family members from seeing your browsing history
It is common that every one of us hates our family from knowing what we browse online. Even if the websites you are browsing are legit and are of a non-NSFW nature, prying eyes are always annoying. With the incognito mode, you don’t have to delete your browsing history which might raise suspicions, and can hide your online activities from the snooping relative.
- Avoid being tracked by cookies
Cookies are the number one way websites collect information about your browsing activities. These are embedded scripts that are deposited onto your computer which are intended to help you re-visit a site by staying logged on. However, cookies inevitably help the same website to identify you as an internet user.
For example, how do you think the website is able to know the number of times a blog post has been shared? Through cookies. When cookies are collected, your different preferences can be predicted so that companies can send targeted ads your way. The incognito mode can help you to block third-party cookies and site data.
What the Incognito Mode Cannot Do
- Hide you from network system administrators
For those of you who are using a device that is connected to your work or school network, you need to know that the incognito mode does not protect your browsing history from being tracked by the network administrator. You may find it dreadful to know that when you access websites that are not encrypted with HTTPS, the administrator can even see the actual content as well as the data that you have exchanged with those websites. One of your best bets here is to use a paid proxy to provide you with full anonymity.
- Avoid DNS tracking
The incognito mode will not help you escape DNS tracking. When you surf and land on a website, your browser will need to get the IP address of the site. This is akin to asking a question such as “What is the IP address of proxykey.com?” When such a question is fed to the DNS server, it might be recorded and passed to law enforcement agencies or even sold to advertising companies. If you want to avoid this, you can use proxies from Proxy Key as we maintain our own DNS servers, and will never sell your information to any third-party organizations.