The term "private" is relevant, especially when it comes to private or anonymous browsing, a setting in web browser that's supposed to allow you to hide your history from others using the same computer. While private or incognito browsing may obscure your activities to some degree, there are still ways for someone to track your actions. And not just people on your network, but your ISP (Internet Service Provider), government, and even hackers.
What is private or anonymous browsing?
Private or anonymous browsing is a feature that first appeared on Safari her browser Apple in 2005. It did not take long for rival browsers, such as Google and Mozilla. In a short time, this feature has become a key component for any web browser. Private browsing effectively creates a separate browsing session that is isolated from the master. The sites you visit are not recorded in your device history. If you sign in to a site with your browsing enabled, the cookie is not saved when you close the window.
It is worth noting that this principle limits both ways. Private browsing tabs do not have access to the cookies you use in the main session. For example, if you log in to Facebook and then enter incognito mode, you will need to log in again.
This makes it a bit more difficult for third-party sites to track your activity while you are in incognito mode. This also allows you to easily access multiple accounts on the Internet at the same time. In addition, it is much easier to navigate the so-called Soft paywalls sites you have access on a few pages before you are asked to log in or register.
The limits of the private or anonymous browsing mode
Web browsers that offer a private function often try to emphasize that this is not a particularly powerful method of protecting users. At best, it provides a subtle level of privacy for people working from their own private networks. Incognito mode does not prevent corporate or training network administrators from tracking your activity. Also, it does not necessarily prevent someone from spying on your browsing habits if you use a public access point in a café or restaurant, for example. Again, private browsing deals exclusively with how to store them data browsing activity on your personal device and not by transmitting it over a network.
In addition, there are ways in which private browsing can be effective in just a few cases. If your computer is infected by malware that monitors network traffic and DNS requests, incognito mode can not help you. Also, it may not be effective against "fingerprint" techniques, in which third parties, usually ad networks, attempt to identify distinctive features of your computer in order to monitor its activity on a network. Fingerprinting is an interesting phenomenon. It seems to attract less attention than malware and Trojans, despite its ability to locate people with great accuracy. As you browse the Internet, third-party sites may collect information about your computer, including time zone, screen resolution, web browser, plugins, and the language you use.
Any of this information may be trivial on its own, but all together, they can help someone create your device profile. A survey conducted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation shows that only one in 286.777 browsers has the exact same fingerprint (or configuration). EFF offers a service called Panopticlick, which can show your browser's uniqueness. This site illustrates the fact that your computer configurations are more unique than you can imagine, making it easy for others to watch you.
Is there really any privacy on the Internet?
Internet privacy means being able to communicate and browse without an outside third party being able to monitor your activities. This cannot be done at the moment, as there are many obstacles to achieving it.
What about those on your network and your ISP?
These include your government. There is also the advertising technology industry, which provides precision-targeted advertising through sophisticated tracking systems, including the fingerprint approach. The Internet is a panopticon. The industry VPN It promises to offer privacy if you invest in its products, however nothing can completely guarantee your privacy on the Internet.
How can you prevent your network administrator from seeing what interests you when you browse?