The internet is the revolutionary invention of the 20th century, which gave a birth to the new world known as ‘Cyberspace’. The internet has been used in almost every professional field. It is a place where people can interact, gain any kind of information, and use it for both, professional and private usage. Worldwide millions of people attached with the internet. It turns out to be a profitable arena. Generally, where is a money, there are the criminals and that is where cybercrimes and privacy concern originated. The purpose of this essay is to analyze modern feature ‘Private Browsing’ which is introduced to secure user’s privacy, its possible usage,and its positive and negative aspects.
While surfing on the internet, users often don’t realize that they can be tracked all over the World Wide Web or via user’s accessing computer just through their browsing history and the personal information put by them on the internet. Whenever a computer user accesses the internet, web browser stores the data on user’s computer in terms of browsing history, cookies and also saves other information such as, a downloaded history, saved passwords, and caches (Hoffman,2012). The scammers, online one-to-one marketing retailers, and the hackers use such information for own benefits.
All modern browsers have launched special mode to keep online surfing secret from prying eyes. In Google Chrome, it is known as ‘Incognito’, ‘In Private’ and ‘Private Browsing’ respectively in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Despite different names and companies, they all function in similar manner (Green, 2012). Unlike general browsing window, private browsing mode opens entirely as a separate “session”. User’s web browser doesn’t store any history, cookies or catches in private browsing mode. Some data, like ‘session cookies’ may be stored till the session runs and immediately discarded on closing the mode (Hoffman,2012).
Private browsing has many applications in both personal and professional arena
It is useful for professionals who wants to test anything that’s cookie-related or do web debugging. As private browsing mode opens as an entire new ‘session’, it is helpful to those who wants to manage multiple accounts at the same time. It protects users’ privacy who share computer at a work or at a home by erasing history records and other information. Private browsing is beneficial in personal endeavors too. Someone who is trying to plan surprises for family or researching something in private without tipping off others, can opt to private browsing mode. Google’s search algorithm uses user’s and network’s recommendations in ranking search pages. By using private mode, user can get new ‘clean’ and more accurate search results. Despite such positive functions, private browsing mode is big concern for parents, as it can be use for viewing ‘risque’ contents (Fiol, 2012).
However, private browsing is not as private as many users believe it to be
Private browsing prevents web browser from storing data in user’s computer, but it doesn’t stop other applications on user’s computer from monitoring user’s browsing. Private browsing only affects personal computer, but when using internet on network system such as, corporate or educational network or internet cafes, internet service provider or network administrator can still access the user’s log through the traffic (Hoffman, 2012). Private browsing mode is not useful for doing personal use at work place. In a way, forensic experts or security specialists can track user’s identity who is engaged in cybercrimes, even if user is using the private mode.
In conclusion, private browsing mode is a great feature which can protect internet users’ security concern. There is still a scope to improve this feature more in near future. Proper understanding of strengths and weaknesses of this tool, can cause more effective and responsible use of it.