What Is Private Browsing and Why Should You Use It?
In today’s digital world, it’s important to be aware of your online privacy and security. You may think that you have nothing to hide, but the reality is that your personal information can be used against you in many ways.
With the recent Equifax breach, in which 147 million people had their personal information exposed, it’s clear that our online data is not as safe as we think.
This is where private browsing comes in. Private browsing is a mode of internet browsing that leaves no trace of your activity on your computer. This means that your browsing history, cookies, and other data are not saved.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of private browsing and why you should use it to protect your online privacy.
What Is Private Browsing?
Private browsing is a way to surf the web, leaving no trace of your activity. This mode is also sometimes called “incognito mode.” When you use private browsing, your browser doesn’t save your history, cookies, or search queries. This means that anyone who uses your computer after you will not be able to see what sites you’ve visited or what you’ve been up to online.
Private browsing is a great way to protect your online privacy. If you’re worried about someone seeing your web history, cookies, or search queries, private browsing is a good way to prevent that from happening. Private browsing is also useful if you want to try out a new website without having it save your information.
Why Use Private Browsing?
There are a few reasons why you might want to use private browsing. Below, we’ve listed a few of the most common ones.
Private Browsing Protects Your Online Privacy
When you browse the web in private mode, your browsing history, cookies, and other data are not saved on your computer. This means that your activity is not tracked, and your personal information is not shared with websites.
Private Browsing Prevents Tracking
Private browsing also prevents third-party trackers from collecting your data. Trackers are used by advertisers to collect information about your online activity in order to target ads at you. By using private browsing, you can browse the web without being tracked.
Private Browsing Helps You Avoid Malware
Malware is software that can infect your computer and damage your system. When you browse the web in private mode, your computer is not at risk of being infected with malware. This is because private browsing does not allow websites to track your activity or store cookies on your computer.
Private Browsing Keeps Your Search History Private
When you use private browsing, your search history is not saved on your computer. This means that your searches are not tracked, and your personal information is not shared with search engines.
Private Browsing Prevents Websites from Hijacking Your Data
Some websites hijack your data in order to sell it to third parties. By using private browsing, you can prevent websites from collecting your data without your consent.
How to Use Private Browsing?
Most browsers have a private browsing mode that you can activate by clicking on a menu item or pressing a keyboard shortcut. Let’s take a look at the most popular browsers and how to activate their private browsing modes.
Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode is one of the best private browsing experiences because it doesn’t save your history, cookies, or search queries when you activate it.
To activate Incognito Mode in Google Chrome:
- Open Chrome and click the three dots in the upper-right corner of the window.
- Select Incognito Mode from the drop-down menu.
- You’ll see a new window open with a dark gray band across the top. This is your incognito window.
- To exit Incognito Mode, close all Incognito windows by clicking the X in the upper-right corner of each window.
Mozilla Firefox calls its private browsing mode Private Browsing. Like Incognito Mode in Chrome, it doesn’t save your browsing history, cookies, or search queries when activated.
To activate Private Browsing in Firefox:
- Open Firefox and click the three lines in the upper-right corner of the window.
- Click ‘New Private Window.’ A new window will open in Private Browsing mode.
- To exit Private Browsing mode, close all Private Browsing windows by clicking the X in the upper-right corner of each window.
Safari calls its private browsing mode ‘New Incognito Window,’ which works similarly to other browsers’ private browsing modes. When you open a new Incognito window in Safari, your browsing history, cookies, and cache are automatically cleared.
Here’s how to use Safari’s Private Browsing mode:
- Open Safari on your Mac.
- Click File → New Incognito Window.
- A new window will open in Private Browsing mode.
- To exit this mode, close the window.
Private browsing in Microsoft Edge is called InPrivate Browsing. It doesn’t save your browsing history or cookies, but it will save information like passwords and form data.
To activate InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge:
- Open Microsoft Edge and click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- Select New InPrivate Window from the menu that appears.
- A new window will open in InPrivate Browsing mode. To exit this mode, close the window.
Private browsing is a great way to keep your online activities hidden from prying eyes, whether they’re advertisers, nosy co-workers, or overbearing family members. It’s also a good way to troubleshoot internet browsing issues and test new features in a safe environment.