Your safety online directly correlates with your protection physically. It is for this reason that online privacy should be taken seriously. How do you maintain online confidentiality when using a computer that is not yours or in an internet cafe? One of the most effective ways is by browsing in incognito (or private) mode.
Incognito mode ensures your browsing history is not saved and specific private data is secured. Before we go any further, you might wonder what private mode is and its uniqueness.
Incognito mode, or private browsing, is a privacy feature in some web browsers where the browser creates a temporary session isolated from the browser’s leading session and user data.
When browsing using incognito mode, the browser doesn’t save:
- the pages you visited,
- your search bar entries,
- listings of your downloads,
- cookies and cached web content.
This way, the data and session are secret and not stored anywhere on your computer. If you reopen the private browsing mode and revisit the same website, you will be considered a new user. Perhaps, this is a more secure way of browsing the internet in this digital age.
Enable Private Mode
The process to enable incognito mode is simple. You can open a link in a private window or open a new private window in Firefox. Here are the steps on how to open a private window:
- Launch Mozilla Firefox on your computer.
- Click the More button for the options menu at the top of the page.
- Select New Private Window from the available list.
- Once you click New Private Window, the Private Browsing home page will open in a new window.
You can now start browsing away without fear of having a search history, download list, and other private information saved on the browser.
This will open the new Firefox private browsing window; however, if you’re interested in opening the link in the private window, you can also do that. Here are the steps to open a link in Private Window:
- Launch the website page that already has links on the Firefox browser.
- Right-click on any link that you wish to open in private.
- Select Open Link in New Private Window from the resulting context menu.
Your link will open in a Private window, which won’t be able to save your search history, and download list, among other private information.
If you want to know whether you are using Incognito Mode on Mozilla Firefox, check the window you are using for a purple mask at the top. If the purple cover exists, you are browsing in Private browsing mode.
Use Firefox in Private Forever
Mozilla Firefox is set to remember history by default. If you change this setting in your Firefox Privacy Options, you can technically browse in incognito mode forever. Here are the steps to set private browsing mode always:
- Launch the Firefox browser on the computer.
- Click the More menu button.
- Select Options.
- Choose the Privacy & Security panel.
- Scroll down to the History section.
- Click on Use custom settings for history from the resulting drop-down menu.
- Select the Always use private browsing mode setting.
This will set the Firefox browser to private browsing forever. You can also select Never remember history from the drop-down menu, and you will always be in Incognito mode. Once everything has been changed, close and restart Firefox to effect the changes.
Having your browser set to always browse in incognito mode means you can’t view your download list, save any passwords from your frequently visited websites, or view your browser history, among others. I would recommend using the mode when you are dealing with sensitive information.
Open New Tabs
The new tabs will help create multiple sessions within the same browsing window. This helps in improving productivity by quickly switching between the tabs. Here are two secure methods to open New Tabs:
- On your computer, press the keyboard shortcut + on a PC or + on a Mac. OR
- Select the Plus icon on your toolbar after your last open web page to open a new tab.
This will open a new tab within the same browsing window. Similarly, you can launch the new tab within the Firefox Private browsing mode.
In a nutshell, your private data shouldn’t be left exposed, especially when using a computer that isn’t yours or one you aren’t sure of.
I also make use of this feature when I make use of a public computer. Since it leaves no data behind, I’m pretty sure about the privacy and safety of my information.
Open a new private browsing window, open your links in a private window, or make your browser function in incognito mode. This way, you can be sure that your online traces aren’t being left behind. All these steps have been discussed above.
Under what circumstances would you browse in private mode? Share with us in the comments section below.
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