Private or Incognito Browsing

Explained by Common Craft
Web browsers come with a feature called Private or Incognito Browsing. The feature can be useful, and using it properly requires an understanding of what it does and why. This video explains Private or Incognito browsing.
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Video Transcript:

Your web browser has a twin that’s designed to help increase your privacy when using the web.

This twin version is usually called a private window or incognito mode and knowing how to use it is part of being smarter on the web. Let’s take a look...

You never see it, but your web browser does a lot when you visit websites.It logs what pages you visit in your browsing history. It saves a type of file called a cookie that contains information about your use of the website, like login info or what you saved in a shopping cart.

The browser also saves the search terms you used.

And all these items are saved for future reference when you close your normal browser.

A browser in private or incognito mode is different: it doesn’t keep a record of your browsing history, cookies, search terms, and more. As soon as you close the browser, they disappear.

Using a private window might sound like you can browse the web anonymously or without anyone knowing what you do. But, this isn’t the case. When you visit websites, information is still logged on the internet.

The internet connection you use, like the wifi at work, still sees what sites you visit. The goal isn’t complete privacy.  Instead, Private browsing is a way to browse the web without leaving evidence, in the browser, of your actions.

Imagine you’re planning a surprise vacation by searching for and browsing websites using a normal browser. Then your spouse uses the computer and sees evidence of your plans via the browser history, search terms and even ads. If you had used a private window, this information would disappear when you closed the browser - and your secret could be safe.

Or let’s say you’re using a shared computer at a library and log into your favorite social networking sites. A normal browser might remember your login information and allow someone else to login as you. By using a private or incognito browser, your login info is deleted once you close the browser and you can feel safe.

Or suppose you’re a blogger who is logged into your website and making changes. You’d normally have to log out To see how those changes look to visitors, and then log back in to keep working.

Instead, you can simply view the site using private browser window. Because it doesn’t save login information, it will show you the version of the site a new visitor would see.

All popular web browsers offer a private or incognito mode. You can usually find your browser’s more private twin under the File menu. While there are some differences, they all operate in the same basic way and help you browse the web without leaving tracks that others can see.



What it teaches:

Modern web browsers come with two versions: the normal version and one that provides for “private” or “incognito” browsing. Using this feature can be helpful, and using it effectively requires an understanding of what it does and why. This video teaches:

•    What information web browsers save when you visit websites
•    Why this information is saved
•    What makes private or incognito browsers different
•    Why private browsing is not truly private
•    What makes provide browsing useful

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 59s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Technology, Net Safety
  • ISTE Standard:  Digital Citizen Indicator 2d
  • ACRL Info Literacy Frame:  Information Has Value

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