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Private browsing: 16 good reasons to use incognito mode

Also known as private browsing or porn mode, your browser privacy setting has all sorts of useful applications that have nothing to do with hiding the consumption of adult content.

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Topic: Security
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1 of 18 Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash

The benefits of going incognito

We're all familiar with our web browser's privacy setting (also known as private browsing, incognito and - of course - porn mode). But it's easy to forget how many benefits there are to disabling your browsing history, web cache and cookies. Here are 16 useful ways incognito mode can be of service that have nothing to do with hiding your consumption of adult content.

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2 of 18 Photo by Lost Co on Unsplash

Hunting for a job

If you're unsatisfied in your job or just want to trade up, you may not want to leave tracks while you search. Incognito mode won't let you hide from corporate routers, but it will keep job sites out of your browser history.

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3 of 18 Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Health information search

Your health is your business. You might not even want to let family members know that you suspect something is an issue. Incognito mode can help you learn without having to explain before you understand.

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4 of 18 Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Gift giving

This little guy might be tough to hide, but if you're researching the perfect gift, you don't want to let the cat, uh, dog out of the bag before the special occassion. Private browsing can keep your surprise a surprise.

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5 of 18 Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Personal search ranking

Just how wonderful does Google think you are? Normally, cookies and your history could influence your search results. Go incognito and find out what Google really thinks of you, from a ranking perspective.

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6 of 18 Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

View site like a new visitor

Ever notice how, once you visit a site, the experience can change? With incognito, you can see what a new visitor to a site sees.

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7 of 18 Pixabay CC0

Privacy on public PCs

Keep in mind that your network is not necessarily secure when on a shared computer. That said, if you don't want to leave tracks when using a shared PC, incognito mode will help.

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8 of 18 Pixabay CC0

Unbiased searching

Your search history can always influence what you see in search results. If you want completely unbiased searching, based on an empty search history (and no cookies), incognito mode can let you do so without zorching your existing history for regular work.

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9 of 18 Pixabay CC0

SEO analysis

Your search history can also influence your SEO keyword research. Think about it this way. If you work for a, say, locksmith, you're going to have a lot more lock-related history than most. That's going to influence your search results. Unless you go private, of course.

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10 of 18 Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Sneak around paywalls

We don't advise this. It could void your warranty, result in weight gain, violate terms and conditions, and possibly cause zits. Undoubtedly, its dastardly, but the fact is, sometimes incognito mode will trick a paywall. Don't do it. Writers deserve to get paid, too.

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11 of 18 Photo by Matúš Kovačovský on Unsplash

Work in multiple accounts or profiles

If you want multiple windows open in multiple accounts, sometimes profiles can get confused. With incognito mode (especially if you also use a guest window), you can keep each profile separate.

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12 of 18 Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Screen recording

If you want to record a screencast, you probably don't want all your own browsing info cluttering your recording. Incognito mode is a great way to do a clean recording.

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13 of 18 Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Classroom presentations

If you want a bunch of students to give a presentation, incognito mode (along with guest mode) can give you a clean experience for each student's presentation, quickly and easily.

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14 of 18 Photo by Stephen Mayes on Unsplash

Unfettered ecommerce

Sometimes what online stores present to you (along with the prices) are influenced by what you've bought before. If you want to see it all without history influencing, both incognito mode and a VPN can help.

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15 of 18 Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Sharing a computer

If you have to share a computer with a friend, guest, or sibling, one way to make sure your browsing is private is to turn on incognito mode.

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16 of 18 Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Adult content

Not all adult content is sleezy. You may want to look something up without taking the chance that the kids might go to a site that they're not old enough to understand. Kids, for example, do not understand bacon like we do.

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17 of 18 Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Religious and spiritual content

Your spiritual interests are yours, and you may not want to share them with others. If you're exploring a new spiritual path or are just a private person, private browsing can keep your spiritual interests personal.

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18 of 18 Photo by sergey Svechnikov on Unsplash

But it won't help you save on airfare

Sometimes you can save on airfare by changing your apparent location. This might violate an air carrier's terms of service or be illegal. That said, to change your apparent location, you need a VPN, not private browsing.

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