Here at OPG we take security very seriously. We use several strategies to keep our clients’ information and in many cases their clients information, private and secure to the outside world. When dealing with something as sacred as your own personal information, shouldn’t you take precautions too?. One way you can do this is by using your browser’s privacy mode, known as Private browsing, or Incognito browsing. Here is a list of a few reasons why you would benefit from using the privacy mode in your browser:
HEALTH INFORMATION SEARCHES
Your health information is certainly sacred. You may not want someone else knowing what types of ailments you may think you have, or actually have, until you are ready to share. If these searches show in your browsing history, the proverbial cat may be out of the bag prior to when you wanted it to. Privacy mode can help you prevent this prior to you fully understanding your possible ailment and being ready to explain to those you wish to share it with.
VIEWING A SITE LIKE A NEWBIE
Do you ever get tired of a website knowing everything about you because you have been there before? Using the privacy mode can help alleviate that by making you look like a brand new visitor to the website, allowing you to browse without some previously cached items interfering with suggestions.
USING A PUBLIC PC
Have you ever used a computer at the Library or a coffee house? Don’t be shocked, but yes, other users will comb through the browser history on a public computer looking for sites that others have logged in to, and worse, may still be logged into, in order to do some unpleasant things. Using privacy mode helps prevent future users from seeing what you have searched, what you visited and, in most cases, destroys your login sessions. Of course, even with privacy mode be sure that you explicitly log out of any site you may log in to on a public computer, just in case. Remember, even small bits of information, such as a recent “maps” search will contain very private information, including origin and destination. Using privacy mode scrubs those history files once you close the private browser windows.
Your search history (not just on Google® or Bing®) can often “lead” you to certain search results based on your previous searches. By using privacy mode, you can search like never before and discover, or uncover, results that normally wouldn’t show up due to previous search history. Let’s not forget the other side of this benefit, by not having the cookies and other data about you, the large advertising networks don’t know about your prior visit history so those “stalker” ads will start to disappear.
Sometimes a website you’ve been to before can use your prior visits and purchases when presenting you with certain items to view. Even pricing is sometimes based on previous purchases. Using privacy mode can help see things differently and without your past history bias. There are times when a site knowing your history can help, and for those sessions, stick with standard mode.
NEED MORE PROTECTION? THREE LETTERS: V-P-N
Privacy mode on a browser is a great tool. It will stop the collection of hundreds or thousands of cookies that track your every move and will scrub your browsing history as soon as you close the window. However, privacy mode does not equal anonymous. If you require more privacy than just browsing history, you need to investigate a VPN or “Virtual Private Network.” This technology ensures a much greater level of privacy and security over top of your browser. The VPN will protect all of your traffic from the networks and other routers you are using. This is also a recommended tool to use any time that you might hop online when not on a trusted network. In short, it’s a secure tunnel for your connection. You still need to use privacy mode when using a VPN for the benefits above, but a VPN adds to the privacy mix in a significant way.
These are just a few reasons to try using Private or Incognito browsing when surfing the internet to help protect your privacy.
OPG is committed to viewing all online activity from the best possible security posture. While “privacy mode” is not something that is directly impacted by the awesome web and mobile software we build, it is a key part of keeping yourself private and safe online. We’d love to help you with any web or mobile project, but no matter what, stay safe out there.