Private Browsing for Cyber Security

Private Browsing For

Enhanced Cyber Security and Anonymity

Ever had a legitimate need (or desire) to google a topic anonymously?

Private Browsing enhances anonymity and cyber security.

 

Did you know that in normal mode your browser would typically record a history of every site you visit?

Private Browsing hides browsing history.

Ever wonder why advertisements start appearing on your web pages -- based on searches you performed days or weeks ago?
Private Browsing limits this invasive remarketing.

 

In normal mode, the browser records every website you use into the browser’s history, along with other tracking information. Browsers can also remember login credentials and passwords for sites you visit. This can be convenient for pages you visit frequently and other uses. However, one tradeoff to this convenience is privacy.

 

To limit tracking of your searches, you can use the “Private Browsing” feature of your internet browser. Popular browsers have various names for this feature.

 

How to enter ‘Private Browsing’ on your browser.

On your browser navigation bar, find and open the SETTINGS icon. Then navigate, per the chart below.

Browser Feature Name Shortcut
Firefox New Private Windows ctrl-shift-P
Chrome New Incognito Window ctrl-shift-N
Internet Explorer Safety, InPrivate Browsing ctrl-shift-P
Edge (Windows 10) New InPrivate Window ctrl-shift-P
Safari (Apple) Private Browsing ctrl-option-N

 

Caveats and Limits to Private Browsing

Private browsing is easy to use and provides some privacy protection.

However, Private Browsing does not make you anonymous on the Internet. Your employer or Internet service provider can still know what pages you visit.

For practical anonymity, you would need to use robust privacy software such as a TOR web browser, or connect using VPN software. An upcoming blog article will expand on how to achieve almost full anonymity using an VPN.

Internet Remarketing by Google and Others

Back to the ‘ever wonder’ at the top of this article.

It can be disconcerting to search from one computer one day, and receive targeted ads on a following day—even if you log in under a different User ID at a different computer! This is because browsers track not only the URL (website) you are visiting. They also track the internet ID of the location (home, work, or other) where you are sitting.

 

Throughout our digital lives, there is a tradeoff between

  • Convenience, and
  • Security and privacy.

Private Browsing is an easy first step for more anonymity, with fewer digital footprints.

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For more information on Cyber Security or to ask a question, click here.