There are many myths about “private” internet browsing. People think that if they use incognito mode or a private browser, their activity will stay hidden. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are several ways that your activity can be tracked, even in private browsing modes. Here we will discuss some of the most common myths about private browsing and how to protect your privacy online.
Here’s how private browsing works: each time you close or finish a “private browsing” session, your data is wiped from your computer. However, your internet service provider (ISP) still sees all of the websites you visit while in private browsing mode – even if they are blocked from seeing the specific pages you visited.
Myth: Private Browsing is Anonymous
This is one of the most common myths about private browsers. The fact is, your ISP can see everything you’re doing while in private browsing mode, including the websites you visit and what you search for. If your employer or ISP is able to track everything you do online through a browser such as Chrome (even if it doesn’t appear on your computer), then they can certainly see that you’re using “incognito” mode.
Myth: VPNs are foolproof
Even if you use a VPN, this doesn’t mean you’re still 100% anonymous. In fact, every time you visit a website, your ISP can see that you’re using VPN software. While they may not know what sites you’re visiting, they do still know you’re attempting to cover your tracks with a VPN connection.
Myth: Browsing in Private Will Keep Your Data Safe
Private browsing modes do not protect against malware or other threats like phishing attacks. The best way to secure yourself online is by always keeping your computer and browser up-to-date with paid endpoint protection software.
Myth: By Disabling Cookies I Can Prevent My Activity from Being Tracked
Cookies are not the only method for tracking activity. There are many ways to track user activity, even without cookies. Disabling cookies will not protect you from being tracked online.
Myth: Private Browsing will protect you from keystroke loggers and spyware
Private browsing will not protect you from keystroke loggers or spyware. In fact, any malware on your computer can still track all of your activity, even in private mode. The only way to truly protect yourself from these threats is by using comprehensive security software.
Myth: When visiting websites in Incognito mode, or private mode, your IP address isn’t logged
Private browsing does not protect you from being tracked via your IP address. Even when visiting websites in incognito mode, the website will still see your real IP address and be able to track who is viewing their page.
While private internet browsers have many uses they aren’t as “anonymous” as some users believe them to be.
EAS can provide awareness training for you and your organization to help you better identify security threats and to learn and deploy safe browsing techniques and best practices. Simply send us a note via our contact form and we will be in touch to get your free onsite consultation scheduled.