It isn't what they say about you, it's what they whisper.”
~Errol Flynn

In Private, Incognito, Ineffective.

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A good article about “In private” and other browsing modes that are supposed to improve your browsing privacy.  All they do is make browsers work as they should have in the first place.

All in all, “private” tabs are only generically useful in a household where multiple people use the same computer.  It’s less likely that someone will pull up what you were looking at but if someone in your house wants to see where someone’s been, a cheap $40 software bundle would reveal everything.  At the law enforcement level, a basic forensic examination (step 1, not even remotely difficult) will reveal everything, and that’s assuming your Internet Service Provider hasn’t already provided everything to whoever asked. 

If you really want more privacy (not perfect, just better – nothing’s perfect), then:

  • Physical access is everything. Truly private browsing requires a separate computer.
  • This machine should have an encrypted hard drive.  Microsoft Bitlocker is good enough for family and houseguests, as is Apple’s FileVault – more privacy needs better than that crap).
  • Use a VPN provider, such as NordVPN or PureVPN

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