Every day, millions of people use Google Chrome, which accounts for 67% of the worldwide browser market. Out of those millions of people, a fair portion use incognito mode in an attempt to maintain their privacy and stay safe on the web.
But incognito mode isn’t as safe as you might think. While it does offer some minimal degree of privacy, it is in no way a shield against snoopers, nor is it an invisibility cloak.
What Incognito Mode Actually Does
Essentially, when you switch on incognito mode you’re telling Chrome not to remember what you’re about to do, but that doesn’t mean that no one will save your information.
This can be very useful in protecting your data from other people with physical access to your computer, like family members and friends. For example, if you wanted to search for a surprise getaway for your spouse, it’s a good idea to turn on incognito mode. That way, your past searches for “tickets to Honolulu” won’t show up when your spouse hops on the computer and starts typing another search term that starts with the letter “t.”
It’s also extremely helpful for when you’re borrowing someone else’s computer or using a shared computer, like in a library, at work, etc. When you put on incognito mode before logging into a website, you can rest assured that your browsing data and login info won’t be saved — by Chrome, that is. There’s always the risk of keyloggers or other malware logging your information.
But if you actually want to stay safe and maintain your privacy online, you need to take additional security measures.
What Incognito Mode Does Not Do
Incognito mode only prevents your data from being saved in Chrome (or another browser) on the computer you’re using. It does not prevent other parties, like your ISP, websites, or cyber criminals using packet sniffing tools, from viewing what you’re doing.
Think of it like this: imagine you’re in a room with two other people, and you have a serum that makes someone forget everything they hear and do over the next two hours. You give one person the serum and tell them a secret. In two hours, they won’t remember anything, so your secret’s safe with them.
But wait — there was still another person in the room listening in on your conversation, and they didn’t get the serum. Now, there’s still someone out there who has your secret, and they can do whatever they want with it.
This is the problem with incognito mode: it will make Chrome forget what you tell it, but there are still other people in the metaphorical room with you. There’s your ISP and the websites you visit, and if you’re in a public place, there may also be cyber criminals using packet sniffing tools to view all the information you send.
Even though your browsing history and cookies will be deleted once you close out of the incognito window, your data can still be traced back to you.
The internet is a treacherous place, and incognito mode doesn’t do much to protect you. While it’s useful for keeping your browsing history safe from friends, family, and coworkers, incognito mode doesn’t prevent your data from being openly broadcast to the world wide web.
If you want to stay safe on the web, the best thing you can do is contact mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 or visit the mPowered IT website to protect your cyber security.
How often should you change your passwords? We all know we should be changing our passwords, but how often is “often” enough? Some people never change their passwords, and even worse, recycle the same (or similar) passwords for almost all of their online accounts. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to security breaches, identity theft, and more.
Passwords are, unfortunately, often neglected by everyday people. We have enough to worry about on a daily basis without adding password security, right? The problem is that security breaches and cybercrime are on the rise. If you think it can’t happen to you, it most certainly can! Every year, thousands of Americans are victims of cybercrime and identity theft and fraud, costing billions in damages.
Protecting your passwords and personal information starts with securing passwords. Your passwords are your first line of defense against intrusion, and there are some rules to follow for best password practices. Let’s take a closer look at some important password guidelines that can help you take back control of your internet passwords.
When Should You Change Your Password?
After A Security Breach: With massive breaches like the Capital One and Target breaches in recent years, consumers have been put at risk from hackers halfway across the globe and on domestic soil. When a company declares they’ve experienced a data breach, you’ll want to change your password as soon as possible to protect your information. If your info has been compromised, you’ll typically be alerted by the company.
If You Suspect Unauthorized Access: Don’t wait until there’s glaring evidence of unauthorized access of your account(s). By that time, it’s usually too late. If you suspect someone is attempting or has attempted to access one or more of your accounts, change your passwords ASAP. It’s always better to take preventative measures than to wait until the damage is done.
If You Discover Malware or Other Phishing Software: A virus can put your computer at risk and leave your personal information exposed. If you discover such software on your computer after a scan, change your passwords immediately; preferably from a different device until you’re certain the virus has been removed.
Shared Access: Lots of people share access to accounts like Netflix and other media services. Some even share access to a joint bank account and access the info via web or mobile app. If you share access with someone you’re no longer in contact with, change your password as soon as possible. It’s best to not trust anyone outside of your circle of trusted people with your passwords. Ex-spouses or significant others, friends, and previous colleagues shouldn’t have access to any of your accounts.
Logging In At Public Places: Using an unsecured network to log in to your accounts is a good way to have your password stolen. If you visit the library or use a public network, change your password afterward.
Managing passwords is a responsibility that falls on both us as individuals and businesses. Without proper password habits, it’s far easier to fall victim to cybercrime and identity theft; each of which costs the nation billions in damages every year. Take control of your passwords with a password management and better protect your personal information and your identity.
Are you interested in learning more on how an MSP could help your organization stay safe? Give us a call at 678-389-6200 or visit mPoweredIT.com.