How to Make Chrome Incognito REALLY Private in 2019
Psst… let’s us tell you a secret: Sometimes Incognito mode is just not enough to keep your browsing history really really private and secure. But there’s one thing that can make sure that no-one can track what you do online: VPN.
But First: What is Incognito Mode?
Google Chrome is currently the most popular browser in the world. It’s easy to install and use, and it loads quickly.
It also stores your information as you use it, which can be a great convenience.
For instance, it remembers websites you previously visited, so you don’t have to type in the whole URL, saves your browsing history, so you can refer back to closed tabs, and can even store basic details about you, such as your name, address, and phone number, in order to auto-fill common fields on websites.
However, given that other people sometimes have access to your computer or device, you might not want all this information available for them to see – especially if you’re searching for particularly private or sensitive content online.
That’s why Google Chrome came up with Incognito mode. When you access the internet in Incognito mode, Chrome doesn’t save your activity once you finish a browsing session. This includes the websites you’ve visited and the data you may have entered (including passwords). It also prevents cookies from being stored on your computer – meaning websites can’t track your browsing history in order to send you targeted ads.
But…Is Chrome Incognito Mode Really Private? Is it REALLY Incognito?
While Incognito mode offers some privacy, it doesn’t provide total anonymity. In fact, when you open an Incognito window, it explicitly states that your browsing activity might still be visible to websites you visit, your employer or school, and your internet service provider.
Additionally, it provides no protection against hackers or government surveillance.
You Need a Secure Tunnel
In order to truly browse privately, what you need is a tool that can offer a secure private tunnel for all your online activity. This tunnel should keep your details hidden from your ISP, the government, and hackers. Such a virtual protective tunnel can be achieved through encryption.
If a hacker gains access to encrypted data, they will not be able to decode it, and so even if they intercept your network, your details will still be hidden.
A VPN Creates a Secure Tunnel
A Virtual Private Network is a tool that encrypts your data and creates a private and secure tunnel for your information to pass through. Most VPN providers have a network of servers all over the world. When you connect to a VPN, your data is routed through one of these servers.
Once connected, your device acquires the IP address of the VPN server you use. This way, the websites you visit can’t see your real IP address. In essence, your details are protected from not only your ISP and hackers, but also from websites that want to see your IP details.
A VPN has many practical advantages, which you can read about here.
Not sure which VPN to use? Check out our recommendations.
All our top VPNs can be downloaded directly from their websites and are really easy to install. After choosing the right one for you, just follow the setup instructions, and the VPN will stay on your computer, ready to use whenever you need it.
How to Go Into Incognito Mode on Chrome Using a VPN
1. Find and open the VPN icon on your desktop.
2. Most VPNs will allow you to choose your server location; in other words, they’ll let you choose the location from which you want your IP address to appear. For this example, we’re using the VPN ExpressVPN and choosing Switzerland as our location.
3. Now there should be a clear indication that your VPN is on and rerouting your internet traffic.
4. Next, open the Google Chrome icon.
5. Click on the three dots icon on the top right. That’s the menu button.
6. Select New incognito window.
Another option is to click Ctrl-Shift-N if using a PC, or Command-Shift-N if using a Mac.
This will open a new window that you can use just as you would a regular Chrome window. The difference is it will not remember any details you enter into it, including URLs. This means that if someone accesses your computer, they will not be able to see your browsing activity.
If you want to make Incognito mode your default setting, right click the Chrome icon and select Properties. Go to the Shortcut window and find the Target field. At the end of the text add a space, a hyphen, and the word incognito. Then click OK.
Now you know how to hide your browsing details from people who have access to your device, AND stay protected from hackers and the government.