Incognito Mode

Is Incognito Mode Private?

Like every October, PureVPN has yet again joined hands with Stay Safe Online this year in supporting their cybersecurity month, commonly referred to as NCSAM. The purpose of this month is to highlight the importance of online privacy and security.

PureVPN is an advocate for online privacy; hence we value events that create public awareness about online threats and how one should use a VPN to stay secure online.


Google Chrome has been actively criticized for its privacy concerns. As tech companies are scrutinized by cybersecurity experts for exposing user’s browsing data, many question whether Google Chrome’s incognito mode is really private?

When using Google Chrome’s incognito mode, there’s an element of doubt whether it’s actually private. But, before we begin understanding whether incognito offers privacy or not, what’s incognito mode?

What is Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode?

Incognito Mode is a Google Chrome browsing option whereby the users’ online activities/data isn’t stored in the browsing history. The name Incognito has for a longtime raised questions on whether browsing on the mode is private and secure.

However, it is important to understand that the only thing that the incognito mode browsing does not do is store data entered during the browsing session. Otherwise, one faces the same vulnerability as if they were usually browsing.

The term ‘incognito mode’ shouldn’t be confused when one wants to attain utmost privacy during their browsing sessions as they are still vulnerable to Google’s Incognito mode. Not to forget that your Internet Service Provider is actively aware of your internet activities.

Learn how to hide browsing history from your ISP.

How to Open Incognito Mode

Incognito mode can be easily accessed in most web browsers. Google Chrome’s Incognito mode can be located at the far right end of the search bar.

  • Click the three-dot on the top right side of the browser.
  • Choose the New incognito window.

However, there are different shortcuts for different browsers that make it easier for one to access the incognito browsing.

Google ChromeControl/⌘ + Shift + N
Apple Safari⌘ + Shift + N
FirefoxControl/⌘ + Shift + P
Internet ExplorerControl + Shift + P

What Does an Incognito Mode Do?

Incognito mode, which is also referred to as private browsing, is designed to ensure that the users do not leave any local data after they are done with their browsing session. This means that no browsing data is stored and thus cannot be accessed later.

However, many people do not realize that apart from not storing the browsing data, the incognito mode browser pretty much does nothing else. Most of the commonly used browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari, offer almost the same incognito mode browsing.

  1. Deletes cookies – One of the things that Incognito mode does is ensuring that no cookies are left when one closes the browsing window. This is beneficial, especially when a person is sharing their computer.

Some users also use incognito mode when they do not want to receive targeted ads. It is essential to understand that cookies are responsible for personalized pages and advertisements that are excessively displayed to users.

  1. Deletes browsing history – The other use of an incognito mode is that it doesn’t store any browsing history. This is important, especially when visiting sites where you don’t want to leave your online tracks.

As soon as one closes the browser while using the incognito mode, any browsing activity is immediately forgotten. This is easier as compared to manually having to clear data after a browsing session.

Learn how to delete your Google search history.

What Does an Incognito Mode Not Do?

It is important to understand that there is so much in terms of privacy and security that using your browser in Incognito Mode does not do.

  1. Incognito mode does not hide your online activities – It is important to understand that browsing in private mode does not in any way prevent network administrators from seeing your activities online.

The only thing that the network does is ensuring that no data is stored after someone closes the browser. This is important since employers can always track your activities online, and one should use Incognito mode on allowed websites when using restricted networks.

This is one of the reasons why people may wonder whether incognito is private. Most people expect that whenever they are using a private browser, they can hide their activities from anybody who may be tracking their activities.

  1. Does not secure one from malware attacks and other vulnerabilities – It is also important to understand that using the computer in Incognito Mode does not minimize the risks from online attacks.

The mode does not have any firewalls that would make it impossible for imminent cyber-attacks. It is therefore advised that one should always take all the necessary security measures when using Incognito mode to prevent the attacks.

One of the steps that one can take while using incognito mode to avoid cyber-attacks is ensuring that they do not visit questionable sites. This may leave them vulnerable to the attacks while all along they thought their activities were private and secure.

  1. Does not deactivate any monitoring software – If you have any monitoring software such as parental control or key loggers, any information entered during the mode can always be recorded and retrieved for future reference. Therefore, if anyone does not know what to have their online activities monitored should have extra privacy measures.

How to Browse Privately

If you prefer to browse privately, there are numerous ways of doing so. This will ensure that your online activities and information that you enter online is safe and cannot be accessed.

Use the Tor Browser – One of the best ways to ensure that your online privacy is guaranteed is using the Tor Browser as it doesn’t record any of your information and uses multiple nodes to send your traffic. This ensures that your online activities cannot be tracked.

Firefox – Unlike other commonly used browsers, Firefox has an advantage over them. Using the right settings, users can quickly enhance their online security and privacy.

Use a VPN – If you are wondering whether your Google incognito is actually private, then the bad news is that it is not. This is why you need to install an Incognito VPN to your browser to make your activities incognito.

One of the benefits of using a VPN to go Incognito is that it ensures that your data is encrypted and far away from prying eyes. This is important to prevent it from being intercepted. The other benefit of using a VPN is that it replaces your real IP with a virtual IP of a different location.

This way, it is difficult for anyone to know who is on the network. VPN’s can also help one access restricted websites in anonymity which is not possible when using the Google incognito mode.

Ather Owais Ather Owais is a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is a strong advocate for online privacy and security, following technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

Have Your Say!!

Join 3 million+ users to embrace internet freedom

Signup for PureVPN to get complete online security and privacy with a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic.