Using Google Chrome For Anonymous Browsing

Google Chrome is the relatively new browser from Google that competes with Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. If you’ve got it downloaded and installed you’ll find that there’s a feature on it that let’s you browse “incognito” as they call it. Be careful though, because it’s not as private as they make it seem with the masked thief character at the top of the browser window.

To access the feature go to the toolbar icon at the top right of the browser window. Select “New incognito window” and a new browser window will appear on your screen. You’ll also be given a welcome message that goes over what is protected and what isn’t while you’re browsing this way. Let’s see just how anonymous it is.

It won’t log the pages you visit in the search history or the browser history. Well that’s good, but doesn’t quite provide anonymous browsing. It also won’t store any cookies from pages you’ve visited after you close the window. This means that if a site you’re using uses cookies – and most sites these days do – they won’t be stored in your computer once you close that browser. Someone searching your cookies can get a pretty good idea of the sites you were at, so this is a good feature.

It flat-out tells you that it will store all of the files you download and bookmarks you make, which if you forget to delete these can leave a pretty giant trail behind. Next it gives you tips that you should be aware of, and specifically warns you of keystroke loggers that your employer might use, the fact that your ISP probably tracks which pages you go to, or even just the information collected by the websites you visit.

Then Google gets clever and also warns you of secret agents and people standing behind you as if there’s anything you can do about secret agents, or that you wouldn’t be aware of someone standing behind you while you’re on a computer. They always try to throw a bit of humor into their products. It’s one of their trademarks that makes them unique.

If you’re looking for anonymous browsing Google Chrome’s incognito feature is cute, but doesn’t get the job done. As long as you’re using your IP address there’s nothing anonymous about your browsing. Everything you view online can be traced back through your Internet Service Provider which can narrow it down to the specific household, as well as the time of day.

Very little of what you do online is truly anonymous. Those searching for a way to have privacy while they browse will have to find a better way than using Google Chrome.