Do you know that most websites you visit keep tabs on you so that they know how often you visit and any products you are interested in purchasing? Find out how to stop this with private browsing.
When you visit a website, it will usually download a small file and put it in your computer, which will tell the website when you next browse it whether you’ve visited before, among other things. This file is called a ‘cookie’ and is part of the reason why you will see ads on the internet for a product you recently viewed. Some suspect that websites also raise the prices on products you have looked at before.
If you don’t want annoying ads showing you every item you looked at recently, or to risk being charged more for products you buy online, here’s how you can stop these cookies from being left behind.
Most browsers come with a mode built in that prevents websites from storing cookies on your computer and stops the history from being recorded while you are in that mode.
Google Chrome users can open an ‘Incognito Window’ by opening up Chrome and pressing ‘Ctrl + Shift + N’ on Windows or ‘Command + Shift + N’ on Mac.
Mozilla Firefox users can open a ‘New Private Window’ by clicking the ‘Menu’ button (appears as three horizontal lines) at the top right-hand corner and clicking ‘New Private Window’.
Safari users can open a ‘Private Mode’ window by clicking ‘File’ at the top menu bar and then clicking ‘New Private Window’.
Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge users can open an ‘InPrivate Window’ by opening up the Internet Browser and pressing ‘Ctrl + Shift + P’.
One step further
If you’re concerned about other parties getting their hands on your data, or the government’s recent changes to privacy online, this article from Lifehacker will walk you through using an online anonymity program Tor.