For the past while, there have been a large number of stories in my daily reading about “Private browsing”, usually about the Google Chrome browser.
This is a “feature” that most modern browsers have incorporated although they all have different names for it. You access it the same way that you would open a new tab or window.
How many different ways can you say “private”?
- Google Chrome – Incognito Mode – https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95464?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
- Firefox – Private Browsing – https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/private-browsing-use-firefox-without-history?redirectlocale=en-US&redirectslug=Private+Browsing
- Microsoft Edge – inPrivate browsing – https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4026200/windows-browse-inprivate-in-microsoft-edge
- Opera – Private Browsing – https://www.opera.com/computer/features/secure
The gist of the stories is that “Private” isn’t necessarily “private” as we know it. The big message is that this mode clears your browsing history and cookies when you exit it. That’s pretty much it.
The articles that I was reading focus on what the authors presuppose that people think that this mode means. I think it’s important to read the text and see exactly what it does mean.
Chrome has removed what I considered the best security concern “the person standing behind you”.
So, why would you want to use it?
I think that everyone has their own reasons, including me. Long time readers of this blog know that I do use advertisement blocking software or browser setting depending upon the browser that I’m using. With a slow internet connection, it makes for a slightly better browsing experience. Rather than downloading all that a website has to offer, I block the advertising and just get the content to speed things up. For the most part, the features are the same on mobile browsers as well.
But, there are times when I have to let the advertising through. If it was one or two websites, I could whitelist them and go forward. There are websites that just plain refuse to work unless you’re allowing their advertising. So, grudingly, I visit them in private mode and allow the advertising through. There are times when it’s just painful. Really painful. So, I’ll let the information flow through and, quite honestly, the advertisements can flash and animate and speak at me but I do my best to ignore them.
How about you, reader? Do you use the privacy mode on your browser? If so, for what reason?