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If you are not yet taking advantage of the private browsing feature on your website, you ought to be!


First a word about a web browser is the interface you use to access websites. Popular browsers include Chrome, Firefox (Mozilla), Edge (Microsoft), Safari (Apple), and Opera. Most computers come with a single browser. If you are still only running that one browser download another one right now! If you are having trouble on the internet the first thing to do is to try another browser and often that will fix the issue.

Private Browsing

One step you can take for a more secure web browsing experience is to use the private setting on your browser. Even though private browser settings are called different things through different platforms all major browsers will have a private browsing option.

When you have private browsing engaged certain functions are blocked or not recorded. According to TechAdvisory.Org: “Your web browser — whether it be Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera — remembers the URLs of the sites you visit, cookies that track your activity, passwords you’ve used, and temporary files you’ve downloaded.” Using the private settings can hide passwords, autofills, and telling advertisers your history and patterns. While your behavior still can be tracked by more sophisticated tactics, this simple step will make it harder for you to be tracked or for your information to easily fall into the wrong hands. It’s especially a good idea to use them when you are on a public computer, particularly if you’re using passwords.

Bonus Benefit – Multiple Accounts At Once

While you can also do this by having multiple browsers open at once, private browsing settings let’s you log into the same website with 2 different accounts at once.

The Specifics

Check out these two in depth articles.

Forbes lays out what each browser’s private browsing is called and what specifically each one does and doesn’t do.

How to Geek gives specific directions on how to use the private browsing setting in the most popular browsers with details on using it on multiple platforms and devices.

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.