You may think that no one knows where you go on the web. But you’re mistaken! Read below to understand what is being recorded and what there is to do about it (and perhaps some pointers for times you may want to go ahead and go undetected!)
No matter which browser you use, after a while, you may feel the browser knows you a tad too much.
How is it that the browser knows so much about you?
Most websites want to capture information about you. They do this so that when you come back next time, the website will know who you are are and remember whatever pertinent info they may need. Information which may be stored as cookies are users login credentials.
Then there is a second type of cookie. This class of cookies send websites you visit back to the advertiser. The advertiser then tailor makes the ads for you.
That’s why a computer repair user may see lots of computer vendors for ads, while a travel agent will get ads regarding different vacation getaways.
What does this mean to you?
Generally speaking, the cookies are harmless.
But the ads which show up reflect the websites and searches you recently entered.
What if you don’t want other users seeing this information?
All browsers have a private mode of sorts.
By browsing in this private mode, your credentials and searches will not be stored for other users to see.
Why may you want to turn on private mode?
If you are using a public computer, your safety may be compromised in other areas. But you’re at least making an effort to hide your information and searches.
Are you looking research a health related or personal query, but don’t want your family members to see?
This is another classical case of using the private mode.
Does this mean you can’t monitor your own computer?
No. You can still monitor the computer. However, the simple “oh, I will check the recent history” may not be adequate. Depending on what you are looking to monitor, perhaps you should look into a product call SpectorSoft or Moble-Spy for mobile devices.
How do you turn on the private mode?
Internet Explorer: Simply press CTRL+SHIFT+P and a new window will open and you will see that you’re in private mode.
Mozilla Firefox: Simply select the “FIREFOX” button on the top left of your screen. Select “NEW PRIVATE WINDOW” and a new window will open up into private mode.
Google Chrome: Simply press CTRL+SHIFT+N and a new window will open and you will see that you’re in private mode. (This is for Windows users.)
Are you really anonymous once in private mode?
No. You are not anonymous on the Internet. While other users on your computer may not see where you were after the fact, there are several identifying pieces of information which the websites may have received when you visited their sites.
Therefore, when browsing the web, always pretend someone else is looking over your shoulder … perhaps in a few years we may find out the NSA was watching us all along!
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