Have you ever looked at a product on an e-commerce website and noticed that, later, an advertisement appears for that same product on another website?
This is the work of advertising ‘cookies’ and other tracking tools, which monitor your online browsing activities to present you with relevant, targeted advertisements.
This can be a great thing. Targeted advertisements can help you to discover new products and makes the browsing experience feel more personalized.
In line with this, 71% of consumers prefer ads to be targeted to their interests and shopping habits, and 3 out of 4 consumers prefer fewer, but more personalized ads.
However, while some people enjoy targeted advertisements, many also feel like their online privacy is being invaded. A different research study found that 79% of Americans on the web worry about companies infringing their online privacy.
It’s easy to see why. Personal ads can make you feel a little like you’re living in the world of ‘big brother’. Not everyone wants to be monitored 24/7 – and that’s ok.
Moreover, let’s say you are researching birthday gifts to buy for your partner. Targeted ads mean that your partner could end up seeing an ad about the proposed gift – which would ruin the surprise!
As people have become more aware of their online privacy, the leading web browser players have released private browsing options.
Below, we’ll explore how private browsing sessions work – and how you can set one up on your computer.
What is a Private Browsing Session?
A private browsing session is a feature available in most popular web browsers. When you switch on private browsing mode, your browser creates a one-time, isolated session that is kept separate from your main browser.
While your main browser collects your browsing history and data, the private browser essentially only has a short-term memory. It won’t save any of the data about the websites you visit or things you buy. Once you finish the session, the data is gone for good.
Going back to the birthday use case, you can see why private browsing is useful! It ensures that no one else who uses your computer can see what you’ve been looking at online.
When Did Private Browsing Mode Begin?
Apple was the first manufacturer to release a private browsing mode. In 2008, it launched a ‘private browsing’ feature. Following this launch, the private browsing mode grew in popularity, leading to other big players like Microsoft and Google launching similar features.
How To Start a Private Browsing Session
It’s simple to get started with a private browsing session. Here’s how to launch it on each of the most popular web browsers.
Google Chrome: Launch Google Chrome as you would normally. Then, near the top right hand of the screen, click the 3-dot menu “Customize and control Goole Chrome”. You’ll see an option that says “New Incognito Window” click this to launch private browsing mode. Then, browse the web as you normally would.
Safari: Open Safari as you would normally. In the top left hand of the screen, click the “File” button. Then click the option to open a “new private window”. This will take you to private browsing mode.
Microsoft Edge: Launch your Edge browser, then click on the three dots button in the top-right corner. Then, click on “New InPrivate window” to open a browser in private mode.
Firefox: Open Firefox, click the 3-dash menu button near the upper-right, then click New Private Window.
The Benefits of Private Mode
If you’re concerned about your online privacy, then private browsing is a great way to reduce your worries. Private browsing is convenient for:
- Not having cookies saved from the websites that you visit, so that you won’t get related adverts later on
- If you’re using someone else’s computer to login to your email or financial institution, your browsing history is not saved
- Avoiding rising prices on items by viewing the same item repeatedly
If you want to feel more in control over your data and online privacy, private browsing mode is definitely a great option.
Get Help Improving Your Online Safety & Privacy
Computer Techs enjoys working with Reno area residents to help them get more from their technology while also keeping their personal data secure. We can help keep you better protected online.
Contact us today with any questions or if you’d like help with Private browsing, DNS filtering or encryption.