Is Incognito mode really secure?

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We have all been there. It’s time to handle something sensitive, maybe embarrassing or maybe you want to browse the internet without being prayed upon by companies. Therefore it’s time to fire up the Incognito or private mode. So what is this Incognito mode? is it really secure?. Let’s find out.

What is Incognito mode?

Incognito mode or privacy mode is a feature in some web browsers. It disables browsing history and web caches. Therefore it will allow you to browse the web without storing local data from the websites you visit. Incognito mode will also disable the storage of data in cookies and Flash cookies.

The Incognito mode works by keeping your history, the browser cache and form data in a temporary file. When you close the browser it deletes the file completely and gets rid of it.

Benefits of Incognito mode 

The Incognito mode is really useful in keeping your browsing habits secured from prying eyes. Also, it will allow you to bypass certain website features that might be annoying. For example, the news websites keep track of how many articles have you read and might start charging you for more article. By using incognito mode you can bypass this and read as many articles you want.

It will also keep your browsing habits away from advertising companies.

Is it really private?

The short answer is no. Incognito mode only affects what’s being stored locally. Still, all that traffic is being routed through your ISP (Internet Service Provider). So it can still be tracked. So to completely anonymize your browsing footprint you have to consider VPN and maybe over a network like Tor to further hide your identity.

Browsers also don’t necessarily delete the information securely. Therefore the data can still be recovered by using a data recovery tool. It can also be found inside your PC’s DNS cache.

To clear your DNS cache you will need to run this command (ipconfig/flushdns).

So is Incognito mode or private browsing is worth it? well yes. It is an easy and quick way to add a security layer over your browsing session. Though you have to be aware that it is not the ultimate security and if someone wants they can still track your data with little effort.


Also published on Medium.