How to Browse Internet Privately

Learn about the options of private browsing (secret surfing) in various major browsers. These options help you in hiding your surfing track to some extent.

There could be many reasons and occasions when you would want to surf Internet without leave traces behind in your computer. Such a need may arise when:

  • You need to use a public computer for logging into your accounts
  • You want to hide details of websites you browse
  • You want to keep website tracking at bay by disabling cookies etc.

Nowadays, all major browsers give you option of browsing Internet in private mode. In private mode, browser does not keep history of what you browsed, it does not store temporary files (like images) in cache, it does not allow cookies and likewise your browser will try to hide your traces.

SEE ALSO: How Private is Incognito Browsing

Google Chrome: InCognito Browsing

In Google Chrome, secret mode is called InCognito Browsing. When you select InCognito option, a new Chrome window opens up. Whatever you will browse in this window will remain under the wraps. All the tabs opened in InCognito Chrome window will remain private. An Incognito window can be identified by an image of a person in disguise (raincoat, hat and dark glasses), in the top left corner.

Image of InCognito mode in Google Chrome

InCognito mode in Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox: Private Browsing

In Firefox, secret browsing is called “Private Browsing” –you can begin to browse private by selecting “Start Private Browsing” option from the top left orange colored Firefox button. Firefox will ask you to confirm if you really want to start private browsing. Upon confirmation, Firefox will begin private session in the same window (If you had tabs opened before beginning private browsing, you’ll get them back as it as when you stop private browsing)

Image of Private browsing in Mozilla Firefox

Private browsing in Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer: InPrivate Browsing

IE refers private sessions to as “InPrivate Browsing”. IE opens a new window for private browsing session when you select InPrivate Browsing option from Safety menu. As the private window states “InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data. Toolbars and extensions are disabled by default. See Help for more information.”

To stop private session, close the InPrivate window.

Image of InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer

InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer

Opera: Private Window/Tab

This browser gives you options to open a new private window or a new private tab. You can select whichever suits you better. The option are available under Tabs and Windows submenu. To stop private session, just close the private tab or window.

Safari: Private Browsing

To start a private browsing session in Safari, you would need to go to Edit menu and then select Private Browing option. Safari will ask for confirmation before going private. To stop private session, again go to Edit menu and deselect Private Browsing option.

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