Can Incognito Be Tracked? Unveiling the Truth

Marketing 13 minute read 3rd November 2023

When it comes to browsing web pages, there might be circumstances where you want some extra privacy. Most people use incognito mode to hide their online activities. But is it effective? Can incognito be tracked?

Unfortunately, incognito mode can be tracked. When using this browsing mode, the only advantage is that you won’t have to delete your browser history. Your internet service provider (ISP), the browser provider, and the website can see what you are doing online. However, as you will see soon, there are better methods to improve your online privacy. As you’ll read soon, private browsing features are easy to unlock if you use the right tools. However, before diving into these instruments, let’s answer a few more questions.

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Can Incognito Be Tracked by Employer?

Another common question is: “Can incognito be tracked by an employer?”. The answer is yes. If you are using an incognito window and hope that this private mode will hide your activities, you are wrong.

When you connect to your company’s network, the employer has the capability to monitor internet traffic. Many companies use network monitoring tools to oversee internet traffic on their networks. These tools can capture and analyze web traffic and tell the administrator what is going on. They can see which websites you visit, for how long, and what amount and type of data you transfer.

If you are an employee, be aware that incognito mode doesn’t provide protection against monitoring by employers. Incognito mode primarily ensures that a local device does not store browsing data. It doesn’t hide internet activity from network administrators or employers.

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Can Incognito Be Tracked by WiFi Provider?

The second most common question is about tracking when using a WiFi network. Can incognito be tracked by a WiFi provider or other users on the same network?

The answer, again, is yes. Online activities are clear even if you use incognito mode when using WiFi. This is even truer if you connect to a public or guest WiFi network.

When you connect to WiFi, the router or access point keeps logs of all connected devices and their activity. This includes the websites accessed, the time of access, and the amount of data transferred. These kinds of data are essential to marketers that use WiFi tracking for their marketing campaigns.

While in incognito mode, your device’s IP address remains visible to the WiFi network. Websites you visit and the network itself can see this IP address. This data can give a general idea of your device and its location. Even though the specifics of your browsing activity are not clearly readable, the data packets you send and receive are. Network monitoring tools can capture and analyze these packets.

However, it is important to understand that public WiFi poses dangers. Therefore, along with caring for your privacy, you need to protect your sensitive data.

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Can Your Search History Be Tracked on Incognito?

Can your search history be tracked on incognito? Finally, you found how incognito mode can help you. If what you really care about is avoiding deleting the browsing history, then incognito mode is your friend.

When you use incognito mode, your browser doesn’t save your search history, third-party cookies, or information entered on your device. Once you close an incognito window, there’s no record of your browsing session on your device. However, as mentioned before, incognito mode doesn’t make your online activities private or anonymous.

Does it mean that you cannot improve your online privacy? Wrong. There are solutions for that.

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Tools To Improve Your Privacy Online

That of online privacy is a very broad and complex topic. While tools exist to stay private, retaining this level of privacy is complicated. Moreover, the more you want to protect, the higher your effort should be. Nonetheless, there are tools that are easy to use and require little to no IT knowledge.

These tools can prevent ISPs, cookies, analytics companies, and more from spying on you. Let’s have a look at the most useful and effective tools and how they can improve your privacy.

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VPN: A User-Friendly Tool To Improve Your Privacy Online

One of the best tools to improve your privacy online is using a VPN. This is a service that allows you to create a secure and encrypted connection to the internet. Then, the connection will act as a middleman between your device and the websites or services you access.

This cryptographic tunnel provides great benefits in terms of privacy. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic routes through a secure server owned by the VPN provider. This process masks your original IP address. Additionally, it will seem that you’re accessing the internet from the location of the VPN server.

By routing your traffic through a VPN server, it is harder for anyone to track your online activities. Moreover, VPNs encrypt your data which is extremely useful considering the general lack of security of public WiFi. This adds a protection layer that makes it difficult for hackers or anyone else to log your online communications.

However, a VPN is not a silver bullet for privacy, and there are caveats to know. Since your data routes through an additional server, you might experience a slower internet. Moreover, as you are using a third-party service, the VPN provider might log your activities.

It’s essential then to choose a reputable VPN provider like Mullvad or NordVPN. Free or low-quality VPNs might log your activities or offer cryptographic tunnels that are easily breakable by hackers.

Tor: Onions Are Not Only About Cooking

A more complex alternative to a VPN is The Onion Routing (Tor).

Tor is a free peer-to-peer software that enables anonymous communication on the internet.

Tor routes your internet traffic through a series of servers called nodes. The encryption happens in layers (hence the term “onion”). However, each node can only decrypt a single layer. This ensures that no single node knows both the original source and final destination of the data.

By bouncing your traffic through multiple nodes, it is extremely difficult for anyone to trace your online activities back to you. With Tor, you can also access blocked or censored in certain regions.

However, there are downsides to this solution. Due to the multiple hops your data takes through, browsing is slower than a regular internet connection. Moreover, While Tor provides a high level of anonymity, it’s not completely foolproof. Adversaries with significant resources might, in theory, attempt to compromise the network.

If you plan to use this tool, ensure that you will not be in trouble. In some regions, using Tor might draw attention from law enforcement or government agencies.

Tips To Improve Your Online Privacy

As this article is ending, let’s have a look at a few best practices to improve your online privacy.

  • Use a VPN. Using a VPN is one of the most effective and simplest things you can do to improve your online privacy. These solutions are relatively cheap and can spare you headaches.
  • Update Software. Keep your operating system, browsers, and software updated. Software updates often include patches for security and privacy vulnerabilities.
  • Beware of Public WiFi. Avoid accessing sensitive information when connected to public WiFi networks. If you must, use a VPN.
  • Be Mindful. Be cautious about the data you insert online. The less you share, the less there is for someone to exploit.
  • Privacy Settings. Adjust the privacy settings on your online accounts, ensuring you’re only sharing information you’re comfortable with.
  • Use a Search Engine that Respects Privacy. Consider using search engines like DuckDuckGo that don’t track your search history.

By following these tips and being proactive, you can significantly improve your online privacy.

The Truth on Staying Private Online

At this point, you should be able to answer the question, “Can incognito be tracked?” While absolute online privacy might be elusive, you can significantly enhance your privacy. By leveraging tools and observing best practices, you can protect yourself from the most common privacy threats.

If you run a local business and you want to improve your business results, try out Beambox. With this platform, you can gather data from your clients and automate your marketing campaigns. Moreover, you can use Beambox to secure your guest’s internet while boosting its performance.

Beambox does not require additional hardware and has no hidden fees. Start your free trial today!

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