Digital India Myths: Incognito Mode

Raj PagariyaCyber Security

Incognito BrowsingAlthough you take steps to improve your privacy and security while browsing the web, it is impossible to be totally anonymous on the Internet. Most Internet users feel that using Incognito Mode or Private Browsing mode on their browsers makes them anonymous. This is so not true. Even using Tor or a VPN cannot grant you complete anonymity, because each service uses some kind of identifier to distinguish you from other users. (Even VPN providers that advertise anonymous services can log your name, your IP address, and other pieces of information about your activity.)

Anonymity isn’t a realistic goal when you’re browsing the Internet. But protecting your privacy is. Taking basic steps to protect yourself will greatly improve your privacy. However, it’s important to remember that it won’t make your activities anonymous.

What happens to me when I use the incognito mode?

As I mentioned, it is a common myth that using Incognito Mode or Private Browsing on the browser will make you anonymous in cyberspace. So here are a few things to take care of while talking about Incognito Browsing:

  • Although things like cookies and history are deleted when you close your browser, there are many ways to track you when you use Incognito Mode. Some of them are IP Addresses and Logins.
  • The browser does not record your browsing history but your internet service provider can still see what you are surfing.
  • Even though you can’t see your past activity, the rest of the Internet can.
  • You could still be profiled and be shown targeted ads based on what you searched.
  • Above all, Law enforcement agencies can request this information.

So, contrary to its name, in Private Browsing or Incognito Mode, your activity is still monitored; unlike other services that don’t track you by default like DuckDuckGo. Since we cannot achieve complete anonymity, we can minimize our digital footprints. So do take care of what you browse on the Internet!


This is the fifth post in the Digital India Myths Series. Check out our previous posts in this series on Virus, Facebook, Identity Theft and Long Passwords=Secure Account.

To read this article in Hindi, click here. इस आर्टिकल को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें।