How does incognito mode or private browsing work and can it really hide internet history?
Most all of the internet browsers made today include privacy features called incognito mode or private browsing. An internet user simply had to open up a new tab on the internet browser in private or incognito mode. That tells the internet browser:
- Do not track my websites visited
- Do not keep record of any internet cookies
- Do not record any passwords or autofill information
- Do not record any history of files downloaded
- Do not keep any files in the cache (images, etc)
All of these instructions apply only to the new incognito tab that was just opened. Once that tab is closed, you are back to normal internet browsing.
There are many reasons you might not want the computer to track you internet history. You might be on a public computer or banking on another PC. Most of the time however, the person is looking at stuff they don’t want anyone else to know about. Since you are on this website, you know what I’m talking about.
So, for the person trying to hide his/her internet tracks and those of you who wish to know what they were looking at here is what can be found out. The private browsing modes will not hide downloaded files. If you download a movie to watch, the file will not be found in the download history of the browser, but the file will be on your hard drive. If after downloading that file, you watched it with a video player on your computer, that will be on the video player history.
Incognito mode does not protect your privacy from the websites you visit. They will still know your IP address, places you’ve been on the internet and everything else they can know about you normally.
Internet service providers also will know where you have been online. They have records of all your internet surfing, but I think that someone would need a warrant to seize those records.
Now you are thinking, “I suspect that he/she is watching internet porn, but I cannot prove it. They have been using that incognito private browsing mode.” Don’t worry, I will tell you how to get that data! Before we do that, let’s think first about what you are going to do with this data. The data you get could possibly change your world. I mean that! If you find out your husband not just watching porn, but is watching some very offensive porn, what will you do? What will you say?
Now that you have decided what you will do with the data you collect, let’s talk about how to get it. Incognito or private browsing will not leave traces of history on the computer or phone. So you must intercept that data as it is transferred back and forth from the internet.
If you want to track the internet on PC or Mac computers, I suggest using either Covenant Eyes or Accountable2You. Both of these softwares will track and report on internet searches and websites visited. There are 2 differences to note: Searches in the Mac Safari browser are not picked up by Covenant Eyes, but all others browsers are. Also, Accountable2You has instant text message notification when a mature site or search is registered.
If you wish to track the internet on someone’s mobile device, I suggest Accountable2You. It seems to work good on either Android or Apple devices and it will give you text message alerts. Covenant Eyes seems to have problems capturing data within apps. For example, someone could download the pinterest app and then search for porn within the app and not trigger a note on the accountability report.
Both of these software programs work fairly similarly as they monitor internet traffic and pass it against their filters and judge it as either good or bad. They both also log all internet traffic and app usage to a point as noted above.
No matter what angle you are approaching this article from I hope you have found it useful and put a plan into action.