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We willingly give our most personal data so often to advertisers, Big Tech, scammers and anyone else who wants to make a dime on us. Do you want to take back control? Start by changing a few settings that make it easier for strangers and businesses to find out who you are in your Chrome browser.
While you’re at it, take a moment to look at your Facebook account settings. Tap or click for three steps to restrict or stop targeted ads.
Your browser offers incognito or private mode. It’s not a privacy, but it can make a real difference.
Is incognito mode private? In a way …
While incognito mode in any browser provides more privacy than if you do not use it, incognito is not as private as we were led to believe.
When you browse the web incognito, your browser does not store your browser history, cookies, website data or information you enter in forms. However, it retains any downloaded files or bookmarks created during the session.
Your ISP can still see your activity, just like a school or employer providing your Internet access or computer. Do you want to stop it? You need a VPN.
This leads us to the question: “Is incognito mode worth using at all?”
Yes, let’s look at three situations.
Trying to keep gifts a surprise
When you shop online, your browser keeps track of what you have read. Later, you will see ads appear on other sites that try to get you to return to make the purchase – even if you have already purchased the item.
You may not be the only person watching these ads. If the person you are buying the gift for is using your computer, tablet or smartphone, they will see the same ads. They can also see them on their own devices as you share an IP address.
Of course, these ads tip them into what you are doing. This does not happen if you shop in incognito mode.
Stop throwing money down the drain: 5 Ways To Destroy Your Expensive Phone, Laptop, Tablet And TV.
2. Stop the algorithm’s watchful eye
We look up all the things that we do not want to follow around the web for years. Maybe you are worried about an illness, or you need to look up a guide to performing a task in the house.
It’s annoying to see reminders of these searches everywhere, especially in your YouTube algorithm. You can avoid these suggestions by searching in incognito mode.
You will notice that I said YouTube. Yes, incognito mode is not just for your browser. You can also search YouTube Incognito – but only from your phone. Here’s how you do it:
- open YouTube app.
- Press your profile picture at the top right of the screen, then tap Turn on incognito.
This feature only works when you are logged in. When you search incognito, your playback history, searches, and other activity are not saved on your profile.
Did you know that there are hidden apps on your phone? No, I do not mean spooky spyware. These are useful, handy little features you should know.
3. Separate your work and home life
Most of us have two versions of our online selves: work and personal.
It’s a pain when you want to check your personal inbox, but you’re logged into your work account – especially if you use the same provider for both. Use incognito mode instead of using different browsers or logging in and out of your accounts.
Try logging in to your work email using your browser as usual, then open an incognito window for your personal account. Easy.
PRO TIP: You can go even further by creating separate browser profiles for work and life. You can bookmark, change your settings, or install extensions to make each profile more useful.
Tap or click here to do so in your favorite browser. We cover Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Sorry, Safari users, but Apple does not offer this option.
PODCAST: Bulletproof headphones, credit report change, new Zoom trick
Have you tried one of these “buy now, pay later” services? Many shoppers love this setup – but now it will show up on your credit report. Speaking of shopping, you can buy a vertical mouse or life-saving headphones. (Yep: a player’s headphones saved him from a stray bullet.) In this episode, I’ll share AirTag news and a cool new Zoom trick that lets you talk with your hands.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command.”
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s National Radio Program and press or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or click or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology at The Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim accepts calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.