Why Incognito Mode and Private Browsing are Not Private

George Keech

Posts: 40   +42
Don't know about others but I use Incognito mode for things I don't want to be showing in suggestions or adverts etc. I also think that its probably used by most people who are not at workplaces for NSFW videos lets say.

I personally are of the mind that governments and organisations can always track you even software that claims otherwise we only have peoples word on that. if governments cracked it they wouldnt tell you.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,101   +4,341
Gagme still tracks user in incognito mode and has lawsuit it is fighting for doing so? Absolutely shocking. :rolleyes:

Personally, I use ublock origin. It also does a nearly perfect job of blocking embedded YouTube ads. I say nearly perfect because sometimes, I have to reload a you tube video to get it to play.

This link from the article - https://restoreprivacy.com/ad-blocker/ lead me to this - https://adguard.com/en/adguard-dns/overview.html which I will try since I run a caching name server on a Linux PC that is my router and internet gateway for my home network. I already have that set to query several DNS servers that block known malware sites.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,009   +5,620
I always assumed I'd be able to thwart the Multi-Trillion Dollar Military Industrial Complex and the Multi-Trillion Dollar Advertisement Industrial Complex by simply pushing the "Incognito" button or by "encrypting my files".

I NEVER expected that they'd be millions of steps ahead of me.

 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
This is a good and informative article, though I worry the headline does more damage than good. People tend to see headlines like that and just assume "well it's useless then, there is nothing I can do, so I'm just going to live life 'without privacy'", and I've seen this attitude filter through to Techspot's comment sections. It'd be better titled something like "Why Incognito Mode Isn't Enough: How to Maximize Your Privacy Online" or something to that effect.
 

Hollow

Posts: 38   +19
I don't mind being tracked, I just want a clean browsing history and not having any NSFW tab open anywhere when someone is looking at my phone/PC.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
I don't mind being tracked, I just want a clean browsing history and not having any NSFW tab open anywhere when someone is looking at my phone/PC.
OK, then what about when what's being tracked gloms onto your NSFW searches (which the article indicates Google is tracking, even when you use incognito mode) and that content shows up in ads when someone is looking at your phone or PC? See the problem now?

Which all goes back to my original point: people see that headline and they just give up. Part of it is a moral failing on their part but part of it is the headline reinforcing the notion.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,101   +4,341
OK, then what about when what's being tracked gloms onto your NSFW searches (which the article indicates Google is tracking, even when you use incognito mode) and that content shows up in ads when someone is looking at your phone or PC? See the problem now?

Which all goes back to my original point: people see that headline and they just give up. Part of it is a moral failing on their part but part of it is the headline reinforcing the notion.
In all fairness to TS, they did link to https://restoreprivacy.com/ad-blocker/ which probably gives better information than this article does. ;)
 

Arbie

Posts: 272   +502
Knowing nothing really about privacy or tracking, I just use the Vivaldi browser with Qwant search and hope for the best. I've used Vivaldi for years now and wouldn't go back to vanilla Chrome.

I'm usually in non-private mode and for general protection have Hackademix's "NoScript" and gorhill's "uBlock Origin" extensions active.
 

Athlonite

Posts: 244   +85
Between uBlock Origin and Vivaldi's content blocker which is set to block tracking and its incognito mode I'm sure I'm covered
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 33   +17
It's only good for testing a website without having local cache stored and / or to clear or wipe your complete set of cookies. There's no such thing on the internet as fully private browsing, unless your snowden and you tor with a zillion hops all over the net.
 

orbital

Posts: 40   +41
It's a (very) long way and Incognito or similar mode is only the beginning.

A term "secure browser" on default settings simply doesn't exist. Anything stock is designed to fulfill the background purposes of its developer, many of them are purely commercial. Look at what Opera has done to its PC version and how many of your otherwise carefully adjusted settings have defaulted to ones after update where you can be easily tracked.

One advice from me - use Mozilla or Mozilla-derived browsers such as Waterfox. Download and explore in deep the following extensions:
- uBlock Origin
- Smart HTTPS
- CanvasBlocker
- Privacy Badger
- Decentraleyes
- uMatrix
- Chameleon
- Cookie AutoDelete
- Anti Ad-Block Blocker
- Location Guard.

CanvasBlocker is a must to explore and fine tune the browser APIs. Use basic settings in Chameleon too, it's easier.

Never use Google products such as Google, Chrome, do not log into YouTube when using it (unless when uploading something). The most privacy-friendly search engine I have found so far is Searx. Instances such as searx.xyz or searx.rocks will index and show you everything from Google, DuckDuckGo and Start Page without tracking, using POST instead of GET, and if you return to the results it will tell you they had expired.

Not certain about using a VPN, unless paid in bitcoin/crypto, as you simply tell the secret services this is my name, these are my bank account details, they are linked to this mobile phone number and physical address. You do not need to track me permanently - what you need to do is just contact the VPN provider once a month and get everything I have been doing all at once.

Anyone still believes "hackers" are the ones to be afraid of and not the governments and their thousands of private contractors, data centers and especially created services to spy on you at all times? If you use any sort of firewall you will see that not only companies like E.I. Dupont de Nemours and the Halliburton Company which in theory (oil and chemicals) have nothing to do to spying but also others like Track Data Corporation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology that intercept and listen to your every Signal, Whatsapp or Skype call, as well as Microsoft to their Xerox (Azure) servers. It's all there - there are here for you only. It is not personal, they simply need to know, record and file everything for you so they can use it against you or commercialize you to whoever pays at a later stage.

Do your work yourself, they are there and won't disappear or stop doing what they do to you for ignorant comments above like "you can't do anything against a trillion dollar IMC" or "I have nothing to hide", haha...
 

maroon1

Posts: 43   +50
Private mode in browser was always meant to delete what you did on the PC. SO, other average joe people who use same computer don't know what website did you visit

Company doing online tracking for commercial or whatever does not violate my privacy in anyway. They don't even know my real identity and it won't effect my life in anyway. I'm not concerned over something that has ZERO impact on me.


 

Hollow

Posts: 38   +19
OK, then what about when what's being tracked gloms onto your NSFW searches (which the article indicates Google is tracking, even when you use incognito mode) and that content shows up in ads when someone is looking at your phone or PC? See the problem now?

Which all goes back to my original point: people see that headline and they just give up. Part of it is a moral failing on their part but part of it is the headline reinforcing the notion.
I don't mind them knowing I browse 1st and 2nd page of a NSFW website. If I wanted to hide something I would use a VPN and a truly secure browser.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
I don't mind them knowing I browse 1st and 2nd page of a NSFW website. If I wanted to hide something I would use a VPN and a truly secure browser.
You're mistakenly presuming that that information related to your browsing ends with Google, but it doesn't. It's tucked into profiles of you that are packaged and resold to progressively scummier outfits. You presume that it will never make its way back to your "RL" family and friends because it merely hasn't yet, which is like assuming you don't need car insurance because you haven't gotten into a crash, or health insurance because you aren't sick... yet.

And like insurance, you'll value your privacy when it's already too late to preserve it.
 

Hollow

Posts: 38   +19
You're mistakenly presuming that that information related to your browsing ends with Google, but it doesn't. It's tucked into profiles of you that are packaged and resold to progressively scummier outfits. You presume that it will never make its way back to your "RL" family and friends because it merely hasn't yet, which is like assuming you don't need car insurance because you haven't gotten into a crash, or health insurance because you aren't sick... yet.

And like insurance, you'll value your privacy when it's already too late to preserve it.
I am perfectly aware it doesn't end there, and anyway there is already plenty of data everywhere on every person on this planet. You can hide all you want but AI is intelligent enough to make links between identities and you can be tracked from anywhere, even when visiting a drugstore. Any place using any kind of software could track your personal informations and even the users wouldn't be aware that the software editor collects not only usage data but also private client data. It's already too late.
 

bobc4012

Posts: 143   +57
Private mode in browser was always meant to delete what you did on the PC. SO, other average joe people who use same computer don't know what website did you visit
Company doing online tracking for commercial or whatever does not violate my privacy in anyway. They don't even know my real identity and it won't effect my life in anyway. I'm not concerned over something that has ZERO impact on me.
I would suggest you check on this web site: https://haveibeenpwned.com/ .

Here are some additional sites you should check, just for starters, if you live in the US, also check out:

https://www.publicrecordcenter.com/ ,
https://www.makeuseof.com/what-major-tech-knows-about-you/ and
https://www.lifewire.com/zabasearch-3482267 .

Unless you live in a well-hidden cave and only use a place like a Starbucks using a lap-top you bought from someone in an alleyway and only do cash transactions and never passed out any personal information in your entire life, anyone can find out who you are - name, address, etc. You also realize that your IP can be traced right to you house, unless you are using a really good VPN and a browser like TOR. All this can also be verified with a little research.
Also, you do realize that the Experian Credit Bureau has been hacked more than once as has Equifax and TransUnion. As for Innovis, I am not sure, hard to find out specifically. For those not familiar with Innovis, see:

https://www.creditry.com/blog/the-3-main-credit-bureaus-plus-the-hidden-4th .

And keep in mind that various businesses have been hacked which also have information that can identify you, such as Target and others, which have information on you if you have done any business with them other than a cash-only transaction.
 
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Old Molases

Posts: 42   +3
Gladly, I've had this practice of using a VPN (Ivacy or Express) when using incognito. I never knew the science, but always thought it was a good practice. Thanks for enlightening and educated people like me :p..