News, Culture & Society

Google’s Incognito Mode doesn’t stop bosses seeing history

If you think you’re safe to watch x-rated content on Incognito Mode at work, think again, according to the Google developer who created it.

Bosses can still keep a tab on employees’ web searches when they are using the Incognito search, which contrary to popular belief is not actually private.

One of the developers has warned whatever you choose to watch is ‘certainly still visible’ to your employee, school or service provider.

‘Going incognito doesn’t hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit’, the page warns when it opens

WHAT IS THE POINT OF INCOGNITO MODE?

Far from being a way to watch x-rated content without getting caught, the primary intention of incognito mode is to allow people to share devices without mucking up another user’s cookies.

For example if a boyfriend is looking for engagement rings and does not want his girlfriend to see, Mr Fisher said. 

It is also useful if you want to book flights as it prevents airlines from keeping tabs on a user’s activity and potentially increasing the price.

With shopping as well, using incognito mode stops companies being able to suggest ‘similar items’. 

If a user is unsure about the reliability of a site they are clicking on, it is good to click on it in incognito mode first, Mr Fisher advised. 

In order to open incognito on Chrome, open a new tab, click on the wrench icon in the top right hand corer and click ‘New Incognito Window’.

Google’s Vice President of Chrome Dan Fisher, who helped create the Incognito Mode in December 2008 told the online magazineThrillist that they did not call it ‘privacy mode’ for the simple reason it is not private.

Far from being a way to watch x-rated content without getting caught, the primary intention of Incognito Mode is to allow people to share devices without mucking up another user’s cookies.

For example if a boyfriend is looking for engagement rings and does not want his girlfriend to see he can keep that content secret, Mr Fisher said.

‘When you launch the incognito tab there’s this disclaimer there where we really try to help make it really clear to people that your activity is certainly still visible to the websites you visit and could be visible to your employer, to your school, and to your [internet service provider] of course’, said Mr Fisher.  

It is also useful if you want to book flights as it prevents airlines from keeping tabs on a user’s activity and potentially increasing the price.

With shopping as well, using incognito stops companies being able to suggest ‘similar items’.

If a user is unsure about the reliability of a site they are clicking on, it is good to click on it in Incognito Mode first, Mr Fisher advised. 

In order to open an incognito tab on Chrome, open a new tab, click on the wrench icon in the top right hand corner and click ‘New Incognito Window’.

‘Going incognito doesn’t hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit’, the page warns when it opens.

‘Pages you view in incognito tabs won’t stick around in your browser’s history, cookie store, or search history after you’ve closed all of your incognito tabs’.

‘Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be kept’, the page reads. 

Bosses can still keep a tab on employees' web when they are using Google's Incognito Mode, which contrary to popular belief is not actually private (stock image) 

Bosses can still keep a tab on employees’ web when they are using Google’s Incognito Mode, which contrary to popular belief is not actually private (stock image) 

Dr Fisher says the best way to keep your privacy secure is to use an updated browser.

If users want to be truly invisible they should use Tor, or the Dark Web.

Tor – short for The Onion Router – is a seething matrix of encrypted websites that allows users to surf beneath the everyday internet with complete anonymity.

It uses numerous layers of security and encryption to render users anonymous online.

The network has been linked to criminal activity such as drug dealing and even services to hire hit men.

Most of the web’s information is buried far down on dynamically generated sites, unable to be found or seen by traditional search engines – sites or pages don’t exist until created as the result of a specific search.

WHAT IS TOR?

Tor – short for The Onion Router – is a seething matrix of encrypted websites that allows users to surf beneath the everyday internet with complete anonymity.

It uses numerous layers of security and encryption to render users anonymous online.

Normally, file sharing and internet browsing activity can be tracked by law enforcement through each user’s unique IP address that can be traced back to an individual computer.

The Tor network on the Deep Web hides the IP address and the activity of the user.

The network has been linked to criminal activity such as drug dealing and even services to hire hit men.

Most of the web’s information is buried far down on dynamically generated sites, unable to be found or seen by traditional search engines – sites or pages don’t exist until created as the result of a specific search.

An internet search is like dragging a net across the surface of the sea – a great deal of information is caught, but a majority is deep and therefore missed. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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