incognito private browsing

Is Incognito Mode Truly as Private as You Think?

TL, DR: Incognito mode offers limited privacy while browsing the web but doesn't provide complete security or anonymity. For better privacy, consider using a VPN.

Topic Related: #IncognitoMode #OnlinePrivacy #VPN #BrowsingHistory #InternetSecurity

  • 🕵️ Incognito mode provides some privacy but isn't completely secure or private.
  • 🌐 Different browsers have different names for incognito mode, but they all have the same purpose.
  • 📛 Incognito mode doesn't save browsing history, autofill credentials, or cookies.
  • 🚫 Your identity, location, IP address, and internet traffic are not hidden in incognito mode.
  • 💻 Incognito mode can be useful for using multiple accounts, shopping for gifts, and booking travel without storing cookies.
  • 🔐 For true privacy and anonymity, use a VPN to encrypt data and mask IP addresses.
  • ⚠️ Web browsers often provide warnings about the limitations of incognito mode.

You must have heard people recommending the use of incognito mode when you are using a public or shared computer. For the longest time, people have enjoyed a sense of security when they browse in incognito mode. But unfortunately, people think they can browse any website they want in this mode, and the passwords will not be saved, or the website history will not be recorded.

Unfortunately, there’s more to incognito mode than what you have been led to believe. Also, it might not be as private and secure as you think. Therefore, you must learn how to delete incognito mode history, so the next person using your computer doesn’t get their hands on the sites you visited. Continue scrolling to learn more about the incognito mode.

What is the Meaning of Incognito Mode?

Every web browser has a different name for this type of web browsing. For example, Google Chrome calls it Incognito, but Safari and Firefox call it Private Browsing. But they all mean the same thing.

Essentially, incognito mode means you are browsing privately, and it does not save your browsing history. If you log into online websites, the credentials are not saved for autofill purposes. Also, the cookies are not saved.

However, this mode is not completely private because one can view your incognito mode browsing history using DNS cache or third-party programs.

Why is the Incognito Mode not as Private as you Think?

Browsing in incognito mode is safer than browsing in normal mode. However, it is not entirely private because it cannot do the following:

  • Your identity is not hidden from websites when you create an account or sign in.
  • Your location is not hidden in incognito mode. Websites can find your location based on your GPS or IP address.
  • Your Internet traffic is not hidden from third parties like the government, your ISP, or the network admin at your university or company. These entities can view the log and find out which websites you have visited.
  • Your IP address will not be masked; the websites you visit can see this. They can use this information to track you.
  • Incognito mode does not secure your web traffic from hackers and other cyber attacks.
  • It is possible for tech-savvy individuals to quickly find your incognito mode browsing history if you haven’t deleted it.

What private browsing blocks is recording your traffic. Therefore, your browser cannot record your traffic. But this mode doesn’t hide your IP address or encrypt your traffic. As a result, snoopers can easily see and collect your information by tracking your IP address.

Also, web browsers are upfront about this. For example, whenever you open a new incognito window on Chrome, your browser will warn you that your activities might be visible to the websites, school authorities or employers, your ISP, and the government. Microsoft Edge and Firefox offer similar disclaimers as well. But if you are using Safari, you will not get such warnings or disclaimers.

Therefore, do not get your guard down because you are browsing in incognito mode. Your data isn’t safe. If you are sharing your computer with someone else, they might not be able to see what you are doing.

When is it alright to use Incognito Mode?

Since the incognito mode is not as private as you think, you may wonder why you use this mode at all. Here are some instances when using incognito mode makes sense.

  • If you need to use two accounts on the same platform simultaneously, you can log into one of the accounts in normal mode and the other in incognito mode. In this mode, you can log into the same platforms without logging out on the normal browser tabs. This function is handy if you want to separate your work and personal profiles.
  • You can use incognito mode when shopping for gifts. No site data and cookies mean there will be no targeted advertising.
  • When booking hotel rooms or flight tickets, you can use incognito mode. As this mode doesn’t store cookies, the hotel or airline website will not know that you have checked for the same dates before. This will prevent them from hiking their prices, and you will get better deals.

If you truly want to browse privately, use premium VPNs. VPNs encrypt the data sent and received between your device and the server. Also, they help to mask IP addresses and locations. So you can truly surf the web anonymously if you use VPN.


Incognito mode doesn’t stop the government, your ISP, your employer, or the websites you visit from tracking your activities. But they won’t be able to tell whether you have visited the website in normal or incognito mode. However, for true anonymity and privacy, use VPN when browsing the web.

Last Updated on December 12, 2023

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