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Explained: What does Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode actually mean?

Incognito mode in Google Chrome is not as private as it might first seem, as people managing the network you’re on can snoop on what you’ve been trying to browse privately.

Google developer Darin Fisher explained to Thrillist that Chrome’s incognito mode is not a ‘privacy mode’, so while Chrome won’t track hoover up your browsing history, cookies or site data when going incognito, your browsing is not invisible to all.

“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 provide] of course,” said Fisher.

When entering incognito mode, Chrome now serves up a brief message spelling out exactly what the mode will do, noting that browsing activity “might still be visible” to all manner of people and services.

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This means that if you’ve been using or plan to use incognito mode to browse websites at work best left for home web surfing, you could get caught out without knowing it.

Incognito mode is best used to hide your browsing activity on a device that others will use, rather than try and use it to hide from network administrators.

If you do want to browse more privately when out and about then a virtual private network (VPN) is probably a better route to go, as such services are much better at masking browsing activities and can make it appear as if you’re web browsing from another country altogether.

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