What does an incognito mode do?

A lot of people have the wrong idea of private browsing. What does an incognito mode do and what is this feature for? Some users mistakenly believe that ISPs and advertisers can’t track them during private browsing. They’re wrong. Only the information you deal with during that particular incognito session is deleted. If you want to enjoy privacy online, use the first personalized VPN solution — ClearVPN.  It will protect you online and mask your IP address and your digital identity.

What is incognito mode?

Incognito mode is a function you can use to access the internet and leave no traces of our online activities on the device. You can use incognito mode to find some information online but your browser history will contain no search results. But your ISP is watching what you do. Keep it in mind! Use genuine online protection, a trustworthy VPN service.

Incognito browsing benefits

  • Relative anonymity.

You can use a shared computer for online browsing and no one will know about your actions online and there will be even no traces evidencing it.

  • No browsing history

But it refers to your computer only. You can hide your activities from other users of this device.

  • Shopping for presents.

When you search for a surprise on a special occasion you don’t want your family, friends, or colleagues to access your computer to get your shopping plans because of targeted ads.

Obviously, incognito mode is just a function that you can use once in a while. But it has nothing to do with your online safe browsing, protection, or privacy. You need a reliable VPN for all those things.

Technical challenges

Despite possible benefits from incognito mode, to be safer and avoid cyber threats, answer the question of “what does incognito mode do?”. The biggest problem is the misinterpretation of users’ anonymity. If you use incognito mode as the only safety feature, you can’t be anonymous because:

  • User’s IP address isn’t hidden

The tool isn’t designed for this purpose. It means vulnerability, high risks of hackers, and your ISP knows about your downloads

  • Annoying adds.

You still get targeted ads based on the previous user’s search results.

  • Cookies and router tracking

Cookies are disabled. You won’t be able to go back to your search history when the session is over. The incognito mode can’t be helpful to avoid tracking you by the router.

Why incognito mode can't save you from the ISPs' tracking

Pay attention when entering the incognito mode browsing. There is a warning that it isn’t secure as your ISP still knows the sites you visit. Actually, ISP doesn’t care if you use incognito mode or not.

  • Browsing history.

Using a shared device after you they won’t know the sites you’ve visited. But ISP does see all your actions and time spent on the websites. It’s because the incognito mode is applicable to the user’s computer only.

  • Partial anonymity

Private browsing doesn’t mean staying anonymous online because your ISP still is able to collect the data regarding the URLs you’ve entered. Your activities are visible to your ISP.

  • Unencrypted user’s data and tracking

The data isn’t safe as it’s open. Your actions, online habits, and behavior patterns. are tracked by ISP.

  • Logs and connections

Usually, DNS queries are encrypted. ISP sees your requests and can store logs. ISP still sees the sites you’re connecting to because all your traffic travels through your ISP and you’re not protected in the incognito mode.

So, incognito mode can’t protect you online. It’s only about the user's privacy on one device only. Considering a great number of risks and threats, you need a reliable tool. Use ClearVPN as the ultimate tool to stay safe and your privacy protected online!

Enabling and disabling incognito mode on your Mac

There are 2 options to use incognito mode on Mac.

1. When you leave no traces on your device

2. When user’s personal data is hidden online

How to go incognito on your Mac

1. Open Google Chrome on your Mac.

2. Tap “⁝” in the top-right corner.

3. Tap “New incognito window”.

1. Launch Safari on your Mac

2. Click on the File menu and select New Private Window

Incognito mode will delete cookies and save no data entered in the online forms, nor your search data.

I don’t want others to use incognito mode on my Mac.

You might disable incognito mode because you don’t know the reasons why people go incognito from your Mac. Or it can be a safety measure to track your children. So, how to disable incognito mode? It’s not enough to close the incognito mode window because others can reopen it. Let’s see how to do it.

How to disable incognito mode using Screen Time?

1. Click on the Apple logo

2. Then click on “System Preferences”, choose the “Screen Time”.

3. Click on the “Options" in the "Screen Time” window.

4. Click on the “Turn On” button next to “Screen Time for this Mac: Off”

5. Click on the «Content & Privacy" section.

6. Go to "Content & Privacy Restrictions: Off", and click on the "Turn On" button.

What does incognito mode do on a public network?

  • Privacy on a shared computer

Using a public device in an internet café, campus, or library, you’ll be private as you log out after the session is over. No one will access your private information accidentally. It will be hard to know about your browsing online.

  • Work simultaneously in several accounts

If there is a need to access several accounts, stay active online, and switch between them. There is no need to log out to access another account (emails or social networks when you have both personal and business accounts).

Threats of incognito mode on public networks

Public WiFi hotspots surround us in the local cafeterias, hotels, airports and make our life easier especially during travels. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are so common and popular (despite the fact that they are insecure) that people use them often without thinking about their own safety. But you aren’t protected on a public network if you use incognito mode because of a great number of threats:

  1. Unencrypted networks
  2. Malicious Wi-Fi hotspots
  3. Man-in-the-middle attacks
  4. Snooping and sniffing
  5. Malicious software distribution
  6. Hijacking

Users mistakenly believe that using incognito mode will do good to their safety. Now you can see that incognito mode won’t help you to cope with all the challenges. Use Clear VPN instead of incognito mode to stay safe on a public network with your IP address hidden and avoid ISP surveillance.

How to protect yourself when you use incognito mode

Be careful before your login, no matter if a public network is secured or unsecured. Use the only proven method to stay private online and browse safely

This is where ClearVPN comes in — the first personalized VPN service that’s hassle-free and secure. ClearVPN uses AES 256 bit encryption — the same protocol used by banks and government organizations to safeguard their data.

It also helps that ClearVPN is super user-friendly and you can start using it (even if you haven’t used a VPN before) by going through a few simple steps:

  1. Install ClearVPN on your device (we'll take macOS as an example).
  2. Open the app.
  3. Tap to activate the Browse securely & privately shortcut.
  4. Done! 😉At this point, your connection to the public wifi is now encrypted and secure. As long as the VPN is enabled, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your connection is private and any information you send won’t get intercepted and stolen by unscrupulous third parties.


Don’t overestimate incognito mode because it’s only minor privacy and hides your history selectively. Incognito mode doesn’t protect you on a public network. It keeps the browsing history and data you enter (login, password) a secret for the users and deletes it when the session is over. But your ISP knows all your actions. Thus, this feature is quite weak and grants no security. Incognito mode can’t replace such a versatile protection tool as a VPN able to handle various privacy issues. Try ClearVPN and you'll see what difference it makes. Be safe while browsing online!

The first effortless VPN solution for users who care about online privacy and want to access more content with just a tap.