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IT Blurb #15 - Private Browsing

April 30 2021

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are all having an enjoyable day. Today’s blurb is about private browsing. While the function goes by different names depending on the browser (Private, InPrivate, Incognito), the base purpose remains the same: to not record your browser’s data (that is used in private mode).

Let’s begin with what private browsing means for you, the user: setting your web browser to private mode or opening a private window grants you an extra layer of protection for your browsing data. In private mode, your browser will not record your history or cookies, other data that tracks site information will be deleted upon exiting, and passwords and login information are not saved. Using private browsing is ideal for public computers, or staff computers that have multiple users.

It is important to remember that while most of your data isn’t saved while browsing privately, things like downloads and newly created bookmarks remain. For example: if you download a program or file, it will still appear in the downloads folder on your computer. Bookmarks created in a private session will transfer over to your normal, non-private browser sessions.

Another thing to keep in mind while using private browsing is that while most of your data isn’t saved, you are not invisible or anonymous. The data that is generated while browsing privately can potentially be accessed by your cable company, Internet Service Provider (ISP), or employer. Similarly, you are not granted greater protection against viruses and malware simply by using private browsing.

While there are definitely benefits to using web browsers' private browsing features, especially on devices with multiple users, they are not perfect for securing your data. Precautions must still be taken to ensure your important information stays yours. Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

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