Quick Tip: Conceal Your Browsing Habits By Going Incognito In Google Chrome

As you know, browsing with Google Chrome or any browser for that matter, your privacy is compromised to the degree that your browsing habits, etc… leave tracks as to where you have been. This is typically done via cookies (that identifies the user when you visit specific sites) and via your browsing history. This is all fine and dandy to a certain point, but there may be occasions where you do not want this information stored and want to protect your identity.

The solution to this problem, on those certain occasions, is to go “incognito”. If you look up in the dictionary, “incognito” is defined as “having one’s true identity concealed”. Nearly all browsers give you the ability to go into “incognito” mode, but for the sake of this article, I am going to tell you how to get into “incognito” mode using Google Chrome. It is very, very easy…

Simply click the vertical three-dot icon on the top-right of the browser and select “New incognito window.” On mobile, tap the three-dot icon on the bottom-right (iOS) or top-right (Android) and select “New incognito tab.” That is it, simple as that… In Google Chrome, when in incognito mode you will see a darkened browser background and you will obviously see “You’ve gone incognito”. You can also get into “incognito” mode by hitting “Ctrl+Shift+N” in combo, on your keyboard.

Now, something I do want to point out. This does give you some privacy protection to a certain point, but do not think this is keeping you from being seen at work. Incognito mode only is concealing your behavior. On work networks, the network administrator, if necessary can track unusual activity via a workstations or devices IP address.

 

Quick Tip: How To Go Incognito In Google Chrome

I bet you did not know you could go “Incognito” in Google Chrome, where your browsing history and cookies are not stored, where your privacy is protected? Typically, when browsing the web your browser tracks you with cookies. Have you ever noticed when looking for a specific product that this product or products in similarity start popping up in the ads? If you were in “incognito mode” this would not occur. Chrome won’t save your browsing history, cookies and site data, or information entered in forms while in incognito mode. In other words, your “activity” is not tracked and stored.

How do you get to “incognito mode” in Google Chrome?

It is actually very simple. To open an incognito window in Chrome, click the three-dot icon on the top-right corner of the browser and select “New incognito window.” You can also get into “incognito mode” by using the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+N (while Google Chrome is open).

Please know, that “incognito mode” does not hide the sites you visit from your place of employment, your internet service provider, etc… Even though your browsing history is private, on the computer that you are working from, your IP address can still be logged to indicate where you go and have been on the internet.

Use Facebook Messenger? You won’t believe how they track you | Komando.com

Facebook is like candy. You develop a sweet tooth for it and can’t put it down. Like the internet in its’ entirety, there is a good side and a bad side. Recently, Facebook has been subject to quite a few inquiries on what information it collects and what it does (and has done) with that information. If you are a Facebook user there is high probability your personal information (profile) has been compromised (data mined) and used for (maybe sold) for unscrupulous purposes. Below (click on the source link below), an article by Kim Komando, is some more information coming out on how the Messenger component of Facebook is being used to track you. In the end, including myself, if you use Facebook, you have been revealed; whether it is posting photos, jokes, your opinions, your cuddly animals; we all have been revealed and compromised… I am especially disturbed on how Facebook is and has been used as a propaganda tool to lead politically influenced lemmings off a cliff with misleading information that has fed people’s minds of mistruths that ultimately has changed the profile of our entire country. In a sense, as much as I love the idea behind Facebook, it has caused damage to our country, as a whole; and, what I find is people either people do not understand the magnitude of all of this or they just plain don’t care. Anyhow, click on the link below to learn more from Kim Komando…

 

Embattled, bruised and bloodied but the hits just keep on coming for Facebook, aren’t they? In the shadow of the Cambridge Analytica hubbub…

Source: Use Facebook Messenger? You won’t believe how they track you | Komando.com

Browse on your Android devices like no one is watching…

Here is an Android app, called Firefox Focus, that I highly recommend for your Android-based smartphone, tablet, and Chromebook. Firefox Focus, built by the same maker (Mozilla) as the Firefox browser, has been engineered for our Android mobile devices with privacy, safety, and security in mind. When you browse with Firefox Focus it automatically will block a wide range of online trackers; AND, will automatically erase your history, passwords, and cookies (which, by the way, is the method used to bombard you with unwanted ads). I use this browser a lot, to supplement my regular browser when I am shopping on the internet to prevent the cookies from haunting me with ads. The install on this is small (less than 3 MB) and works great on all Android devices, including the Chromebooks that support Android app installations.


SOURCE: Google Play Store – Firefox Focus: The Privacy Browser

We use Facebook as a tool to connect, but there are those people who use that connectivity for malicious purposes…

Since I started using Facebook, I am seriously looking at the security and privacy ramifications that we expose ourselves to when we do social networking (such as Facebook). With that being said, I encourage you to read “4 Ways to Crack a Facebook Password & How to Protect Yourself from Them“.

You will see more postings, from me, in the future in regards to Facebook vs. Security and Privacy, as an effort to help protect ourselves from that element of our society who prey on honest people.

Control, Protect and Secure Your Google Account Information, ALL IN ONE PLACE

If you have a Gmail (Google) account you need to bookmark the link provided below that gets you to a dashboard (called “My Account”) that gives you quick access to settings and tools that let you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide how your information can make Google services work better for you. You can even use the dashboard to help find your phone if you lose it; or,  to see how much Google Drive space you have left.

Many Gmail (Google) account users are unfamiliar with this dashboard. I highly recommend that you put this one on your bookmark list and periodically visit the dashboard site to review your settings.

From the “My Account” dashboard you can manage (and control) things such as:

Sign-in and Security – Control your password and Google Account access (Signing in to Google, Device activity & security events and Connected apps & sites).

Personal Info and Privacy – Manage your visibility settings and the data we use to personalize your experience (Your personal info, Manage your Google activity, Ads Settings and Control your content).

Account Preferences – Set language, accessibility, and other settings that help you use Google (Language & Input Tools, Accessibility, Your Google Drive storage and Delete your account or services)

Security Checkup – Protect your account in just a few minutes by reviewing your security settings and activity.

Privacy Checkup – A quick checkup to review important privacy settings and adjust them to your preference.

Find Your Phone – Whether you forgot where you left it or it was stolen, a few steps may help secure your phone or tablet.

My Activity – Discover and Control the data that’s created when you use Google Services.


SOURCE: Google – My Account

NEW Firefox Focus For Android

Firefox Focus takes web browsing to another level in the protection of your security and privacy. Firefox Focus can be used as a standalone browser or as a content blocker for Safari on supported iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices; and NOW, it is available for the Android platform.

 Firefox Focus: Private Browser- screenshot

AUTOMATIC PRIVACY

Blocks a wide range of common Web trackers without any settings to set

Easily erases your history — no passwords, no cookies, no trackers

BROWSE FASTER

By removing trackers and ads, Web pages may require less data and load faster

MADE BY MOZILLA

We believe everyone should have control over their lives online. That’s what we’ve been fighting for since 1998.

SOURCE: Google Play – Firefox Focus

Which Recovery Option Should I Use When Experiencing Problems With Windows 10

Found the following information on the Microsoft Support site that may be helpful in deciding which recovery option you should use in the event you are troubleshooting and experiencing problems with Windows 10.

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well because of a recently installed app, driver, or update.

Solution: Restore from a system restore point

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well and you’re not sure why.

Solution: Reset your PC

Problem: You want to clear all your personal data off of your PC before you donate or recycle it.

Solution: Reset this PC > Remove everything > Remove files and clean this drive

Problem: Your PC won’t start. Or You tried to reset the PC, but encountered the error: There was a problem resetting your PC.

Solution 1: If you’ve previously created a USB recovery drive, use the recovery drive to restore or recover your PC

Solution 2: If you haven’t created a USB recovery drive, use installation media to restore your PC or Use installation media to reinstall Windows 10



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When the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives next week, its users will have several privacy options to comb through…| PCMag.com

Windows 10 is sure developing a bad reputation for data collection…  Here is an article from PCMag.com (see source link below) with some insight and instruction on what you can do to shut down or limit what data is being harvested…

 

When the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives next week, its users will have several privacy options to comb through…

Source: Use Windows? Microsoft Might Know a Ton About You | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

It’s Hard To See This As Anything But A Major Loss For Consumers – The Verge

Over the years I have encouraged people in the world of computer information technology to ALWAYS protect your data and your privacy. Today I have been reading numerous articles from numerous tech sites who are not happy with the decision where Congress cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history. It has now cleared the Senate AND the House and is heading to the President’s desk for his signature. I encourage you to visit the source link below to learn more about this.

It’s hard to see this as anything but a major loss for consumers…

Source: Congress just cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history – The Verge

A TIP To Protect Privacy (When sending email to multiple recipients, use “Bcc”.)

The article reflected below I have posted several times since its’ original posting (back in 2010). What prompted me to dust this off and bring it back out of the archives is that today I received a local government generated email to advise recipients of other government agencies of an impending snowstorm.  What caught my attention was that as this email was sent to a very large body of people.  I was able to see every name and email address to folks I am guessing would not want their email address and name made that public. As this email get’s forwarded, more and more email addresses will be revealed. To protect the privacy of others, it is best practice to use “Bcc” when sending email to multiple recipients.

Bcc = Blind Carbon Copy

Did you know that if you use the Bcc field in your email client to address and send an email or want to send a copy of an email to multiple users, the recipients will not see whom you sent the email to?

Many know this trick; however, I still find that many do not. When using the Bcc field to send your emails, the people receiving the email will not know who the other recipients are. It is not a trick of hidden magic. It is that the addresses of the other recipients are simply not shared.

I often receive forwarded chain emails; usually consisting of jokes, humorous movies, prayer requests, etc… Occasionally I will find one these emails humorous or important enough that I will pass it on; HOWEVER, prior to doing this I perform some housecleaning steps.

I will remove any “FWD” text (usually in the subject line) and will remove any email addresses I find in the body of the email that reflects the email addresses of recipients who have already received the email. After performing these housecleaning steps, I will enter into the the Bcc field, in my email client, the recipient’s email addresses, from my address book, to send (or forward) the email. If the email client requires at least one entry in the “To” field, I simply enter my own email address.

The benefits of using the Bcc field is simply this. You are protecting the privacy of other people. Currently I have approximately (5)-five email accounts that I use for specific purposes, from a variety of email services, with one of those accounts being my primary email account. I am very protective of that primary email account address and do not want it thrown about for the spammers to get hold of or for strangers to see. For example, I have found people’s email addresses in forwarded emails that I know and have not seen for years. They are very surprised when I contact them; and, will often ask, “How did you get my email?”. I explain that I simply pulled it from a forwarded email.

Be courteous to others and learn to use the Bcc field in your email; AND, when possible avoid chain emails all together.

Go Incognito with Firefox…

Mozilla Firefox

Did you know that Firefox, the choice browser of the tech community has a Private Browsing Mode built into it?

If you are a Firefox user and you are using Firefox version 3.5 or higher you can easily switch from normal browsing mode to private browsing mode. Many of the other popular browsers also have a private (incognito) browsing mode that you can explore.

When you are normally browsing the internet, Firefox remembers the web sites you have visited, your user names and passwords, your browsing history and more. In other words these browsing morsels become a profile of your browsing habits and of you. When you switch to the  Private Browsing Mode in Firefox, these browsing morsels are not collected and stored on the host computer.

Using Private Browsing Mode, to protect your privacy, is handy when browsing the internet from a friend’s computer or at work. In reverse, you can switch the browser into Private Browsing Mode when someone else is using your computer to prevent extraction of or review of your personal morsels (such as user names, passwords, history, cookies, etc…).

To get into Private Browsing Mode, go to the menu bar (at the top of the browser), click on “Tools”, then “Private Browsing Mode” [ see video ]. You can also perform the hotkey combo of  Ctrl + Shift + P on your keyboard to turn Private Browsing Mode “on or off” .

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Personally, I prefer using the hotkey combination to quickly go in and out of Private Browsing Mode. When you enter the Private Browsing Mode, Firefox will graciously remember any pages or tabs that you have open, so that when you exit from Private Browsing Mode, you are right back where you started.

image

You can also depart from Private Browsing Mode by going to the menu bar, click on “Tools”, then “Stop Private Browsing”.  You can also leave Private Browsing Mode by simply closing Firefox, as well.

In a Private Browsing session, Firefox won’t keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files.  However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept. [ click here to see details ]

You can tell when you are in Private Browsing Mode by looking at the Title Bar at the top of the browser window.  It will reflect “Private Browsing – Mozilla Firefox”. Downloading files or saving bookmarks is not affected by Private Browsing Mode.

If you are at another PC, I strongly encourage that you use Firefox and the Firefox Private Browsing Mode to protect your privacy.  If Firefox is not available on the host PC you can use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition and run it from your flash drive.

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