Private browsing mode - how to browse without tracking

Private browsing mode - how to browse without tracking

If you want to browse privately in the browser, you have to set the private browsing mode. However, the private browsing mode can only protect your data from the people who live in your household. You cannot really browse anonymously with the incognito mode.

Here you will learn how to use the browsing mode correctly and what possibilities it offers.

Browse privately and gain privacy

During a web search, the browser usually stores a lot of information. Therefore, in the search history of a browser you can see which web pages the user has visited. Furthermore, there are the cookies, which additionally store information of the user.

These are used by online stores, for example, so that you can often still discover their products in your favorites list a few days after browsing the store. The private browsing mode prevents the device from tracking which websites you have visited in the browser. However, the private mode does not mean that you really browse the Internet anonymously.

Although all data is forgotten by the browser in private mode, you are not completely invisible to the Internet service provider and advertisers. During private browsing, the browser "forgets" which websites the user was on. The private mode is terminated when the window is closed.

If you share a device with the whole family and they use the same browser, the private browsing mode is particularly practical. After all, the rest of the family can no longer see which websites you have visited, so you don't have to delete your search history. So, if you are looking for a birthday present online, you should not forget to activate the private browsing mode.

Private browsing mode: Difference between private and anonymous browsing

Cookies and other data are deleted from the device when you activate private browsing mode. However, advertisers and Internet providers can still see which websites you have been to and what gifts you have been looking for.

Anonymous browsing, on the other hand, offers more anonymity, since Internet activities cannot be traced at all. Thus, if you expect true anonymity while browsing, you should use additional tools like a VPN. With a VPN, anonymous browsing is possible without any problems. The IP address is hidden and any entries made on the Internet are encrypted.

Despite this, the private browsing mode is a good alternative and particularly easy to use, since no third-party software or similar is needed here and every browser has the private browsing mode. An anonymous search engine is an alternative for the private browsing mode - tracking does not take place here either, so you can browse without worries.

Activate the private browsing mode – this is how it works

Although the popular browsers are basically not private browsers, they include the private browsing mode, which can be activated quite easily. In Chrome, Firefox or Edge, for example, all tabs and all windows are assigned to one mode. The individual windows and tabs thus exchange data with each other.

In the Safari browser, however, each individual window must be handled separately. So if you have already activated a window in private browsing mode in Safari, you have to activate private browsing mode again in the newly opened window. But how can you activate the private browsing mode?

Enable private browsing mode in Google Chrome

In this case, you must first open the browser. After clicking on the three dots located at the top right of the window, you have the option to select "New incognito window". If you want to open the private mode faster, you can also choose the following key combination: CTRL + Shift + N.

Those who use a Mac must press the following keys to activate private mode: Command + Shift + N.

Use private browsing mode in Safari

Those who use Safari as their browser can also activate the private browsing mode. To be able to browse privately, you have to open Safari first. In the menu bar at the top, click File to open a "New Private Window".

But you can also open the private mode quite easily with a key combination. The key combination for the private browsing mode is Command + Shift + N. With this action, the mode can be opened directly.

If you want to end private browsing, you simply have to close the window.

Private browsing mode: private browsing in Firefox

The private browsing mode can be opened in Firefox similarly to the other two variants. The first step is to open the Firefox browser. After that, you can select the option "Open new private window" under the three bars in the upper corner.

If this is not fast enough for you, press the key combination CTRL + Shift + P. This key combination works on Windows. On the Mac, the following key combination is pressed: Command + Shift + P.

Private browsing mode in Internet Explorer

The private browsing mode in Internet Explorer is called "InPrivate". To activate the mode, you should open the browser and click on the three dots in the upper right corner. Then select the item "New InPrivate window".

If you choose the key combination CTRL + Shift + P, you can open the private mode much faster.

Can you see what was displayed in private browsing mode?

In general, it must be said that it is not possible to check what a person has looked at in private browsing mode. Although the private mode means that the browsing history is deleted, it does not mean that the online activities disappear completely.

If you want to completely eliminate your tracks, you can also delete the incognito history. In order not to have to open the incognito mode every time you use a device used by several people, you can also use a data-secure search engine, where the search does not appear in the search history and no tracking takes place.