Private Web Browsing: secrecy vs. security

Published October 23, 2017

What is private browsing? An included function to privately browse the internet on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.
What does private browsing do?
  • Doesn’t record browsing history
  • Doesn’t record private information used during session: address, email, name, credit card number, etc.
  • Discards cookies created when browsing (what’s a cookie? Learn more HERE)
While you are using the private browsing function, any history made during that session will disappear when you exit the private browsing function. However, websites can still be monitoring your search history, information you enter, and your IP address (computers specified label on the internet) while in the private browsing function.
Private browsing is not a security measure but more of a secrecy measure.
How will private browsing help you?
You can be logged into multiple account profiles on one site (ex: being logged into multiple Gmail accounts at once), keeps your logins secure if using a public computer, and keeps browsing history hidden from others (just think Christmas shopping secrecy).
To enable private browsing in your browser:
  • Chrome:
    • Open Chrome > click the three dots in the upper right hand corner > New Incognito Window
    • Mac Shortcut: PRESS Command + Shift + n
    • Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS Shortcut: PRESS Control + Shift + n
  • Safari:
Choose File > New Private Window
  • Internet Explorer:
    • Settings > Safety > InPrivate Browsing
    • Mac Shortcut: Command + Shift + p
    • Windows, Linux, Chrome OS Shortcut: Control + Shift + p
  • Firefox:
    • Click the 3 horizontal lines in the far right corner of browser > New Private Window
    • Mac Shortcut: Command + Shift + p
    • Windows, Linux, Chrome OS Shortcut: Control + Shift + p
Keep in mind, private browsing is secrecy vs. security.
To truly help protect your security, look into internet browsing products such as Anonymizer.