How do you use your browser's 'porn mode'?

Summary:OK, if it makes you feel better, let's call it private browsing!

A post by Burke Holland, evangelist for Kendo UI, on the subject of browser's 'porn mode' got me wondering about a topic that I've not thought about in a while ... how do people use this feature?

OK, OK, before I go any further, I know it's not called 'porn mode!' Internet Explorer calls it InPrivate Browsing, Chrome calls it Incognito Mode, in Firefox it's called Private Browsing and Opera calls it simply Private. I just happen to think that 'porn mode' is funnier!

Holland pulls together some interesting data on how people use private browsing. For example, he digs up a chart by Mozilla from 2010 which shows that the median of users are only in a private browsing session for 10 minutes.

He also comes up with several legitimate reasons for using a private browsing session. For example, logging into multiple Google mail accounts, web app development and just as a way to prevent your browser history becoming polluted with LOLcats and stupid memes.

I have to admit that I use porn mode private browsing much more than I thought I would (stop snickering!). In fact, I use it in three distinct ways:

  • Any time I want to bypass the browser cache. This is handy when doing a spot of web development or building web apps.
  • When I want to use multiple log-ins to sites. I have multiple log in credentials for a number of sites (my own and third-party ones) and private browsing is a great way to allow me to log in to the same site or service using different credentials. Once you get your head around this idea, it's incredibly useful.
  • When I'm using someone else's system. The last thing I want to do on someone else's system is to be filling (or polluting) their history with my browsing history. It's not a case of being sneaky in my opinion, it's just good manners, a bit like making the bed after you get up or offering to do the dishes after dinner. It also prevents me from accidentally logging into an account of theirs (like Facebook or Twitter or whatever).

Like I said, it's a feature that I use a lot more than I expected to do when it was first introduced. At first I thought it was gimmicky, but now it's as natural as opening a new tab or dragging tabs between browser windows.

OK, your turn. How to you use private browsing?

Topics: Browser

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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