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You’ve entered “Incognito” or another form of private web browsing.  However, your online browsing behavior and data may not be as private as you think!

Animated yellow triangle caution sign with an exclamation mark in the interior.

Correctly using private web browsing gives you specific privacy and safety protections

Private Web Browsing Does a Specific Job

Flaticon Icon Private web browsing erases:

  • History of visited websites

  • Cookies(text files created when you visit a website)

  • User names and passwords

  • Auto-fill forms you completed 

❗On that device, only❗

If you're using private browsing on your phone but not on your laptop, for example, the information will only be erased on your phone.

Laptop on table with several pairs of hands working on the same device Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

When Is Using Private Web Browsing a Good Idea?

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  1. When you want an impersonal user experience. This way you can avoid suggested videos and ads relating to searches you don’t want your device to remember (i.e., gifts, sensitive topics, trending videos).

Animation of a hand scrolling a tablet device

2. When sharing a device with others. It keeps their eyes off your autofill information from online shopping carts, logins to favorite websites, and personal search results.

Animation of laptop as a table and business people sitting around the keyboard during a meeting

  1. When logging in to multiple email, social media, or other accounts at the same time.

Animation of hands quickly typing on a keyboard

Quiz

Your best friend asks to quickly check their email on your laptop. Can private browsing mode keep both your and their email logins safe?

When Is Using Private Web Browsing a Bad Idea?

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When you want 100 percent privacy.

Woman looking annoyed stands up, holds out her and states,

What’s not private?

  • IP (internet protocol) addresses to websites visited

  • browsing history to your internet provider

  • browsing history to your work or school

  • your digital fingerprint

Quiz

You’re searching, “how to quit my job in 3 days” on your company’s work computer. Can private browsing keep your boss out of your business?

How to Use Private Web Browsing

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✅ As a shortcut on your computer:

  • Command-Shift-N (for macOS)

  • Control-Shift-N (for Windows)

✅ On your computer or personal device:

  • Select the three vertical dots in the menu bar and select New Incognito Window

Safari

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✅ As a shortcut on your computer:

  • Command-Shift-N (for macOS)

✅ On your computer or personal device:

  • Select New Private Window from the Files menu.

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✅ As a shortcut on your computer:

  • Command - Shift - P (macOS)

  • Control - Shift - P (Windows)

✅ On your computer or personal device:

  • Select the three lines in the menu bar and select New private window.

Microsoft Edge

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✅ As a shortcut on your computer:

  • Command - Shift - P (macOS)

  • Control - Shift - P (Windows)

✅ On your computer or personal device:

  • Select the three lines in the menu bar and select New private window.

Take Action

Are you ready to start private browsing?

Young adult working on laptop. Raises pointed finger and says,

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

LD

Leslie Dolland

Ed Designer | e-Learning Developer | Creative