Private browsing, when the need calls for it, is actually an easy task. This is especially the case if you are browsing from a computer shop or someone else’s computer, and especially if you are visiting a confidential website. There are more than many ways to do private browsing, and in this article, we are going to show you some ways to do it on Google Chrome.
Incognito Mode (Browse in Private)
Google Chrome has a feature called Incognito Mode, in which you can browse privately. This means that any page you browse and any file you downloaded are not recorded in your History. Cookies are also deleted after you close the incognito windows. However, when you edit your settings and bookmarks, they will still be saved while in incognito mode.
To open an incognito window on your Chrome, simply follow these steps:
- Click the Chrome icon on your browser’s toolbar (icon with lines) and select “New incognito window”.
- With this, a new window will open with the incognito icon (man in disguise) and you can simply browse like how you normally browse, except it won’t be in your History.
Keyboard shortcuts work too:
- Ctrl + Shift + N (Windows / Linux / Chrome OS)
- ⌘ + Shift + N (Mac OS)
- For Chromebook users, Guest Browsing can also be used instead of Incognito Mode, which works much like it, and erases your browsing history when you exit the guest session.
- For Windows 8 users, use the window switcher button on the top-right corner if you want to switch between windows.
- If you use or send login details, real name, IP addresses and other confidential information, they might get recorded.
- Extensions on your Chrome are all disabled when you use incognito mode, so that it will not save or share your personal data.
Browse Privately without Incognito Mode
If you prefer not using the incognito mode, you can just turn off the Chrome option that lets it store your pages into the browser History. Here is how to do it:
- Navigate your Windows Explorer to C:\Users\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\History
- Right-click on the history file, select Properties, and check the ‘Read Only’ option. Click Apply/OK.
- Navigate to [your root name]/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/History
- Right-click on the history file, select “Get Info”.
- Under “Sharing & Permissions”, set all the drop-downs to “Read Only”. Save and exit.
TOR is a project / browser extension that allows you to browse anonymously. It is a free project that can be installed in almost every browser. Many users have been using TOR for safety and anonymity purposes, including activists, whistleblowers, business entities, media, military, and of course, family and friends.
You can download TOR and install it to your computer using the instructions from: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
A proxy server is an in-between server that is sandwiched between the client and the actual server. Many people still use proxies for hiding their online identity when browsing websites, and there are thousands to millions of working proxy servers in the Internet that you can use. Here is how it works on Google Chrome:
- Click the settings/customize icon (wrench bar) on the top right of Chrome and choose Options.
- On Google Chrome Options, go to “Under the Hood”.
- Go to the Network section and click “Change proxy settings”.
- Look for “Internet Properties” and then click “LAN Settings”.
- Check the “use a Proxy server for your LAN” and fill in with your proxy settings. Click OK when you’re done.
Browsing anonymously and hiding your online identity is indeed, a very important issue when it comes to online safety. If you need to be double sure of your confidentiality, why not give these ways to browse anonymously on Google Chrome a try? After all, it’s for safety and online privacy and to avoid being tracked.