Web browsers can store information on your computer that makes it more convenient to use the websites that you want to revisit. Normally all the recent websites that you visit are stored in the browser’s history and some of the information you enter in forms (such as username) may also be saved and automatically inserted into the appropriate form when you revisit the website. There are times, however, when you would rather not have this happen. This may be the case when using public or shared computers or when entering sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
The latest versions of popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer allow you to browse the web without storing browser information on your computer after you are finished with your browsing session.
In Firefox this is known as Private Browsing and can be accessed by clicking on the Firefox button (or Tools Menu) and selecting the Start Private Browsing menu item.This will close all current windows (to restore them after private browsing is completed) and start a new session where your browsing history and other information about the sites you visit are not stored on your computer.
In Chrome this feature is known as Incognito Browsing. It can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon then New incognito window menu item. This will open a new window in which browser history, search history and cookies will only be stored until you close all incognito browser windows.
In Internet Explorer this feature is called InPrivate Browsing. It can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon then Safety menu then InPrivate Browsing menu item. This will open a new window in which cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data will not be stored on your computer.
Please note that while incognito/private browsing may help protect your privacy on your computer it cannot control data websites store about you remotely and it cannot hide your online tracks from your ISP.
Last Updated on August 5, 2020 by Nathan Vidal