Is Incognito Mode safe?

March 11, 2023

Incognito mode is a feature that most browsers bring by default, as promised, is a browsing mode that is more “restrictive” in terms of privacy, so that the user does not expose so much information to the services consumed on the Internet, but is it really safe? In this article we will explain how it works and we will show you why incognito mode is not really as secure as the vast community of Internet users think.

How it works in incognito mode

This mode, basically, incorporates a series of features when navigating that, although they can provide a (very basic) layer of security, they cannot make you invisible on the Internet.

  • Cookies blocking.
  • No history storage.
  • No storage of the information generated during navigation.

Looking at it this way, they really are features that almost a browser like Brave or LibreWolf, quietly and without using its incognito mode already meet, keep in mind that both your public IP address as your User-Agent and other elements that identify you on the Internet for third party services, do not change using incognito mode, basically, if you browse from your browser and when you finish browsing, you delete all the history information, cookies and others, it has the same effect as browsing in incognito mode, only that, in the latter, the deletion is done automatically at the end of the navigation, in fact, most browsers will tell you that using incognito mode does not give you invisibility on the internet.

On the other hand, there are other elements that can get to know your activity within the incognito mode, the first and most obvious is your internet provider, your ISP, which always, whether you use incognito mode or not, knows what you do on the internet because, let’s see dude, he gives you access to the internet, another element could be that in the network you browse, a proxy has been configured so that all traffic goes through it before going out to the internet through the router, in this last example, if you go out to the internet, both the proxy and the ISP will know where you want to go even using incognito mode.

Keep in mind that your ISP is not looking to spy on you, the ISP provides you with Internet access and it is logical that your requests are handled by it, in fact, even for legal issues corresponding to the legal management of the ISP itself, although, for example, you could use a VPN to minimize the information that your ISP receives from your browsing, but I also tell you, if you do nothing wrong on the Internet, you don’t have to worry either and, I understand that if you are already a follower of Coldd Security, you will know that ethics is the most important thing in cybersecurity.

How to see which sites were accessed from incognito mode

Now, so that you can be more aware that incognito mode is not synonymous with invisibility on the Internet, you will see how you can even know which sites were accessed using this mode, this only applies at the level of your own operating system because what we will do is make a query to the DNS cache stored on your system, let’s give an example, you access from incognito mode to colddsecurity. com and then you close the incognito mode window, keep in mind that, although the information inside the browser was deleted, the DNS queries that were carried out to perform the domain to IP translation and / or vice versa between several assets and that allowed you to access the website mentioned above (ie our dude), these DNS queries you can see them because it is information that, as I said before, is stored at the level of your local operating system, to see them, we run the command.

ipconfig /displaydns

Over there you will see all the cached DNS protocol queries on your system, including in this case, DNS queries to even if they were made from incognito mode, I have shown you the image this small so you can also keep in mind that the DNS records stored in the system are many and not only include assets that you accessed via the HTTP protocol. Now, you may be wondering, is it possible to delete this information? And the answer is yes, for this we would use the command.

ipconfig /flushdns

In this way, the DNS cache has been clean, but keep in mind that keeping it always clean is a difficult task because, by simply having an Internet connection, the operating system itself already makes queries to services outside your local network, which leads to, transparently to the user, DNS queries that are stored in this cache for load time optimization issues and that is normal system behavior, DNS queries are made and stored in this cache to optimize loading times and this is a normal system behavior, since this cache is not made exclusively to see the DNS queries that were made from an incognito mode, but it is a use that can be given by thinking a little outside the box, plus if you delete it, it is only deleted from the operating system, it has no effect on a proxy on the network or your ISP.

Finally, it is important to protect your information on the Internet and try to increase your privacy, that’s fine, but more important than that, is to know how to make a responsible and ethical use of the Internet.


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