The Good And Bad of ‘Private Search’ Feature of Every Browser
This realization makes it legit to term technology as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s making lives easier for the masses. While on the other, it makes people fall victim to deception, malice, and data leakage.
Among all the malware invented to secure data, the private mode on browsers has also gained popularity. First seen in May 2005 with Mac OS X Tiger, this feature has made its way from Safari to Chrome. It is now available on most mobile browsers.
What is Private Browsing?
People using private browsing don’t always run a shady business. Some share screens or fear unauthorized access to their gadgets. The best way out for them is to turn on the privacy mode.
Private browsing erases your search history and cookies automatically. It doesn’t save data from completed online forms. Also, it limits web-tracking. As a result, sites face trouble keeping a tab on you. And some browsers will even hide your location.
Several browsers are now offering the private browsing mode. A few of them are:
- Incognito Mode on Google Chrome
- Private Window on Safari
- DuckDuckGo (search engine)
- InPrivate Browsing mode on Microsoft Internet Explorer
However, note that it is not the silver bullet that will make you entirely anonymous in the digital arena. Some traces of your existence in the landscape are always left behind.
People often question whether it is worth a shot. To help you decide, we have rounded up some pros and cons associated with it. Let’s have a look:
The Bright Side
- Deletes cookies from your browsing session
Cookies, along with the browser history, help the web browser to speed up the session for the users. But they also pose a significant threat. Cybercriminals can steal it and gain access to your personal information. Yahoo faced a massive setback in 2013 when there was a theft of data belonging to more than one billion users.
The private browsing mode ensures you do not fall prey to such calamities. It deletes all cookies and signs you out automatically.
- Deletes the browsing history
When you surf around through the browser, it keeps track of all the sites you have visited. It helps to fetch info later and autocomplete the addresses. However, when you turn on the private mode on a browser, it disables the log.
It is crucial to keep it turned on when you are using a public computer or sharing the screen. If not, anyone who logs on later can sign in to your bank accounts or online shopping ledger. And in case you are looking for a security optimization app, Vrois VPN would be a great choice!
- Keeps you away of clutter
The private mode will prevent a website from tracking you down. Portals have an algorithm where they follow all the likes and dislikes of their audiences. It helps them gain more info and direct relevant ads.
With the privacy mode, you can avoid the clutter of search or banner ads.
- Deletes the typed-in data
As mentioned earlier, a private mode ensures none of the websites can sabotage your info. It erases data from all kinds of forms, signup, and login pages.
The Down Side
- Nothing on the Internet is wholly private
Privacy mode on all browsers does not function as the Internet Blackhole. Firewalls, routers, RAM Chips, Proxy Servers, or the Domain Name System (DNS) cache can retain the browsing history.
- Requires Activation
If you have recently learned about this feature, there is a high chance you will forget turning it on sometimes. From Google Chrome to Internet Explorer, every browser demands the user to open a unique window. If you end up forgetting and use the regular window, you will leave traces behind. When you remember, you have to follow a tedious task of deleting the cookies, passcodes, and history.
If you don’t remember until it’s too late, keep your fingers crossed for a system glitch!
- Advertisers can track you
It is creepy how advertisers follow you up. One day you are checking out the beautiful glassware on Amazon, and the next day, glassware products pop up at whichever website you visit. It happens whether you are using private browsing Chrome or Mozilla. Undoubtedly, the Internet is storing cookies at discreet places.
- Your downloaded files may still be there
It is not a wise idea to stroll about in the digital arena on private browsing mode. Some people often download a file (image, document, video), and they are carefree, thinking it is safe. To tell you the truth, it is not! You have to delete all the downloaded files manually. Still, there may be traces left of it deep within the system.
- Spyware Threats
The privacy mode does not protect you from spyware or keyloggers. Even though the browsers do not save it, the keyloggers and spyware act independently. They intercept the keystrokes. To avoid these threats, you need an anti-virus working along with the private browsing mode.
Clear the misconceptions
Private browsing is useful for various purposes. It comes in pretty handy when you are using a computer at the workplace or a library. But make a mental note to self that it is not entirely safe and secure.
According to a recent study from Avast, 65 percent of 10,000 consumers believed that going incognito or private browsing mode will conceal their identity. They think it helps to keep the browsing history from advertisers and government authorities.
The same study reported 77 percent of respondents had higher than usual expectations with their browsers. They expected the browser to alert them about unauthorized access.
Private browsing comes with a load of hassle. But as you get the hang of it, you will be able to distinguish when to use it and when to pull off your research without it.
Do you know of any other pros or cons of private browsing? Let us know in the comments!
Poking nose in others’ business is not about eavesdropping anymore. Tap into their gadgets, and you can figure out about half of their personalities.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook