This is rather old news in the tech world, but I still feel it bears mentioning.

Google Chrome comes equipped with a pretty interesting tool, known as “Incognito Mode.” Pretty sweet name, no? A lot of folks think that, with Incognito Mode enabled, they’re pretty much invisible to other people on the net. Same as if they were using Anonymizer, Track Me Not, or Ghostsurf.

Unfortunately, they’re mistaken.

See, the trouble with Incognito Mode is that it doesn’t actually do anything to prevent websites from tracking you. It doesn’t do anything to stop malware from targeting you, nor does it prevent your visits to various websites from being logged by their servers.

It doesn’t stop Internet Service Providers from storing information about your surfing habits, and it doesn’t even stop websites such as Facebook from automatically recognizing you.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really do much aside from erasing your browsing history and clearing the cache after a browsing session.

In all honesty, a lot of folks aren’t sure it even clears the cache.

It essentially just makes Google Chrome forget all about your surfing history- all the other websites will still remember you’ve been there, even if they don’t leave cookies on your computer to show it. And it should be obvious, but it bears saying anyway- any files you download or bookmarks you add will still exist once you exit Incognito.

Basically, it’s a setting you might make use of when you’re looking at websites you probably shouldn’t be- or you simply don’t want other people to be able to see your browsing history. Either way, if you actually want to surf privately over the web, Incognito’s not the way to do it. Download something like Ghostsurf, or any of the other aforementioned tools, if that’s really a concern.

I suppose the message I’m trying to deliver here is thus: Don’t use incognito mode as an alternative for safe and smart browsing practices.  The same applies to all the other browser’s ‘private browsing’ options- they’re pretty much the same can of worms in every case.

Image Credits: [Stun Media]