A survey revealed that many people think the incognito/private mode in web browsers is completely private.
Major Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari offer an option to browse the internet privately, although the private window in the browser doesn’t log any activity from a “within the browser” perspective, many believe that it will offer a fully private browsing experience whereby the activity is not logged by an ISP.
In a new study, 460 people have been asked to study the browser’s description in incognito mode and answer a quiz about their privacy expectations. Most of the respondents of the quiz expressed significant misconceptions about the incognito mode. For example, more than 50% of the users thought that logging into Google using the private window thought their Internet provider won’t record any search activity. More than a quarter of users thought that private mode will mask the IP address of their computer.
A computer security and private researchers at the University of Chicago suggested that companies could affect the behaviour of the users by providing a clearer view of what private mode actually does. For instance, these descriptions should avoid vague, sweeping promises of anonymity, such as Opera’s assurance that “your secrets are safe” and Firefox’s encouragement to “browse like no one’s watching.”
Many people overestimate the privacy offered by the web browsers in incognito mode.
Here are the questions asked in the quiz test, see how you stack up against them.
- Do Private mode in browsers block websites you log into from tracking your search entries?
- Do Private mode in browsers keep block the cookies from the websites?
- Does incognito mode block your browser from saving your bookmarks?
- Does private browsers hide your IP address from websites or advertisers?
- Do private browsers prevent your employer from tracking your browser on company computers?
- Do private browsers better protect your computer against viruses and other malware?
- Do private browsers block your internet service provider from tracking your browser history?
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