Browsing Google In Incognito Mode May Not Be As Private As You Think

It turns out that browsing Google in incognito mode may not be as private as you think.
Credit: Alamy & Google

It turns out that browsing Google in incognito mode may not be as private as you think.

For those unfamiliar with the feature – it allows you to surf the web privately without having a record kept of what you are searching.

This feature is beneficial when looking for something that you don’t want others to know about – such as surprise holidays, birthday presents… and other stuff.

While you might think it’s a safety net for staying hidden on the internet, it turns out it is not as private as originally thought.

Find out more about how incognito mode protects you on the internet below…

The small print presented when selecting incognito mode claims that internet providers, website operators, and data collectors can still what you are up to.

However, a study reveals that up to 40 per cent of people using the feature believe that they are hidden.

On top of that, 22 per cent believe that the government or their internet provider can’t track what they’re doing while ‘privately’ browsing the web.

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Vice also add that private mode won’t even prevent trackers from identifying individual users.

In fact, your internet provider can still collect data, such as your IP address, while you browse incognito through ‘browser fingerprints’.

‘Browser fingerprints’ is information your computer makes available to websites so that they can be displayed correctly.

This includes sharing screen resolution, operating system, location, and language.

Incognito Mode
People think browsing in incognito mode keeps your identity hidden – but that isn’t the case. Credit: Google

In reality, all that incognito mode does is delete your browsing history and cookies once you close the window you were roaming.

As stated by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules, internet providers are legally allowed to keep our data for as long as ‘strictly necessary’ before it is discarded.

There are other methods that are available if you want to go on the internet privately.

For example, there are some browsers that redirect requests through at least three random servers.

Even that isn’t totally private, though, since it is not completely encrypted and protected.

This means that your data is liable to interception, and your IP address could be exposed.

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You could back it up with a VPN, or get a USB plug-in which works alongside a computer’s hard drive.

When plugged in, the USB directs everything through a different network, before wiping the device’s RAM after every shutdown.

While this is one method to stay hidden, it isn’t easy to remain completely anonymous online.

So, you need always to be aware when using the internet.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.