Sadly Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode Isn’t As Secure As You Think

It’s sad but the world’s biggest tech giant Google Chrome’s Incognito mode is not as secure as you think it is. The settlement Monday in US federal court will require users’ activity in Incognito mode to be afforded more privacy during web browsing.

That means that even in private browsing, your browser is still able to follow what sites you visit, or third parties like advertisers.

Lawyers filing a lawsuit against Google estimated it would cost from $2.02 to $4.75 billion to have the prior consent given on strict standards regulating the information in a June 6 filing.

Almost every major browser today has a privacy mode. But here’s what browsers do and don’t do for users:

What Google Chrome’s Incognito mode can do?

Google Chrome's incognito mode

Consider each instance of private browsing as a fresh start a whole new beginning to using your web browser for the first time or think of it like using a web browser for the first time on a new computer and just starting to surf the net.

Based on your history, there are largely no automated recommendations, and you’ll have to log into your account.

Mozilla, the owner of the Mozilla browser, closes the window and all browsing history and cookies from that session will be cleared immediately on this computer.

That has its advantages, of course. For example, hunting for topics like health care might not seem to fit in place with your browsing history. However, not that it disappears.

What Google Chrome’s Incognito mode can’t do?

Google Chrome's incognito mode

Note that the feature has the sole objective of private browsing: it helps hide from those who will use the device, but hiding the fact that one has visited a website is not allowed.

Incognito means not letting other people in real life know about what you are browsing from getting access to your computer. Incognito doesn’t help to prevent access to the sites themselves and other third parties.

It usually does; however, this way, it does not yet protect the visited web location from being viewed or, for that matter, the location where a person visited it, by your IP and, of course, does not also prevent the ISP from recording such activity.

That still implies your whole identity and all of your activities are still visible to search engines that, in an extension of the idea, involve third parties. So long as your IP address is visible, you are.

That’s why Google recently agreed to delete billions of records containing personal information of people who used incognito mode to surf the web amid settling a lawsuit claiming the giant illegally tracked users.

That would mean Google will have to become clearer concerning privacy in their terms of service so every user knows how his or her data is being captured.

Google just had to delete billions of user data in incognito mode as a result of a lawsuit against them.

Google also would have to build a mode that allows users to block third parties from tracking them for up to five years if a federal judge approves the settlement following a trial set for March 5 and July 30.

Besides, it does not erase any downloads or bookmarks that you may have made during an active browsing session in Incognito mode after ending that browsing session. This leaves you open to computer viruses, malware, and browser infection.

Advertisers know who you are:

Google Chrome's incognito mode

Then, every time you open a new tab, it would tell you, “Your activities in incognito mode will not be visible to other users of this device.” So, now it doesn’t tell anybody. Incognito gives no barrier to both the operator of the website and the advertiser. For example, all that he has searched for will have been saved on his Google profile. The advertisement trackers keep following him online, adding his “secret” activity to the already compiled dossier about him.

Geolocation: “Advertisers” are also able to use “geolocation” technology for the “identification of your position to show you advertisements for products and services in your “locality when using your “mobile phone, but at times it appears “intrusive. Again, incognito mode does nothing to mask your location data. That way, the advertisers still know where you are, and they save it in your advertising profile.

Malware can still get through:

Google Chrome's incognito mode

According to another myth, when a user does some work in incognito mode, it allows the user’s computer not to get affected by malware or viruses. But this, in turn, again is an utterly misleading statement.

Incognito mode does not provide any additional protection.

The malware could install through your browser in “normal” mode. So, the threat will easily be accepted even if you browse the site in private mode. The only way to avoid virus infections is to use a dedicated anti-malware tool such as Panda Dome.

Are there safer options?

Google Chrome's incognito mode

Virtual private networks (VPNs) can mask your IP address from websites. But that, in turn, poses security issues of its own, most especially if a user opts for some free or very cheap VPN that is not otherwise vetted. Some search engines are far more inclined toward privacy, such as DuckDuckGo, which promises not to collect any personal information or track people seeking queries on its site.

Other varieties of browsers are out to make it hard for third parties and advertisers to track you.

But even with all these options, remember that being truly “anonymous” online is very difficult!

So what is incognito mode for?

Google Chrome's incognito mode

“Now, I guess you’ll say, ‘Damn, what can this Chrome incognito mode hide, what can it secure me and my device from?’ There is one feature when it may be really useful: ‘Private Browsing’ is designed to save your home-based privacy. During regular surfing, the browser takes full information, including cookies, from the history of each site visited and a set of images placed on your computer in the hope of speeding up the loading of web pages or simple memory of passwords and logins.

I mean, all the people having access to your computer might easily use this information to see what sites were opened, what interests you have, etc. Of course, it gets deleted at the closing of the browser. In this case, other people who have access to your computer cannot check what you have done on it, what sites you were looking at, and what you have searched for. So, even if through the Internet, these online advertisers will know what you have been searching on the web or Facebook for, a surprise gift for your dear or some family member would come as a real surprise.

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