If you’re using Chrome or Safari, even in Private/Incognito mode, your data is being logged and recorded. If you want to browse the internet privately on your phone, you’ll need a couple of things…
Your phone, whether iPhone or Android, stores and shares all kinds of data about you – from browsing cookies about your browsing history to your location via apps like Tinder and Google Maps. If you own a phone, you’re on the grid and that means you’re trackable. In more ways than one.
There’s not much you can do about this, and you shouldn’t be too concerned about it either unless you’re doing illegal stuff. For 99.9% of people, Internet security isn’t something that should keep you awake at night, however, there are a bunch of things you can do to ensure you’re safer when browsing the web – especially on public WiFi networks.
And the first port of call is getting a VPN.
Why do you need a VPN? Simple: a VPN will keep ALL your internet activity completely anonymous, so whether you’re downloading torrents via PirateBay or browsing Facebook and chatting to friends, whatever you do will be completely hidden – no ISP, government snoop, or hacker will be able to view your activity or data.
And when it comes to VPNs, you’ll want to use a quality provider – I use NordVPN because it offers military-grade encryption, its super-fast, and it is has a 100% no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t log, track, or store any of your data, unlike free VPNs which track and share your data with third-parties like advertisers and marketing companies.
Don’t scrimp on your VPN, go with the best and know that you’re 100% covered from all angles. Anything less and you’ll be left exposed.
Untraceable Web Browsing
How do you browse the web in a completely anonymous manner, without your ISP, or anybody else for that matter, knowing what you’re doing? Again, the simplest way to do this is using a VPN; it hides your IP and masks all your activities, so no one – not the government nor your internet service provider – will be able to monitor and/or track your browsing activity online.
This is why people that download a lot of P2P and torrents use VPNs. They do it because not only does a VPN allow you to get around web restrictions, like blocked sites (think PirateBay), but it also ensures that you can then download media (legal and illegal) without getting caught. Basically, if you DO use torrents in 2020, and you’re not using a VPN, you’re leaving yourself wide open to some pretty serious expose…
Private Browsing Chrome
Chrome, like a lot of browsers, has a private browsing mode; Chrome’s is called Incognito Mode. But how incognito is Google’s Incognito Mode? As it turns out, not that much – your data and activity are still accessible by your ISP, even when using Incognito Mode.
Using Incognito Mode will prevent anyone on your network from seeing your browsing history, but it will not stop your ISP from viewing what you’ve been looking at. And if your IP is traceable, your data can be extracted and sold to the highest bidder (advertisers).
On top of this, the government can also force your ISP to hand over your data too.
The ONLY way to get around this is to use a VPN. This is the #1 reason why millions of people use them in the first place; it’s not because they have something to hide, but because they don’t want billion-dollar corporations like Google using their online activities to make money. And I can totally get behind that.
Private Browsing on Android – How To Actually Do It
If you have an Android phone or an iPhone and you want to get away from Google and Apple and Microsoft, you do have another way of browsing the web. It’s called DuckDuckGo and it is basically the ANTI-GOOGLE; it doesn’t track or store any data about you and its search results have been shown to be more, how should I say this… less politically-motivated than Google’s…
If you want to browse the web completely anonymously, your best bet is DuckDuckGo combined with a VPN like NordVPN. Having these two things combined will ensure that NO ONE, not your ISP, the feds, or Google, will be able to track, monitor, and access any past records of what you’ve been doing online. Again, just make sure you don’t use a free VPN; they’re terrible and will use your data to make money.
How To Browse Internet Anonymously – Wrapping Up…
If you’re keen on upping your security and online privacy in 2020 (and you really should be), your best bet is using a VPN (we recommend NordVPN; it’s fast, secure, and 100% no-logs) when you’re accessing the web on unsecured networks – basically, when you’re out of your home and using public WiFi and mobile data.
You won’t need it active] all the time, just when you want to access things that your mobile data provider blocks – P2P sites, certain websites, and content that is locked to a specific region. At home, you can use a VPN to unlock things like Netflix and Disney+, accessing their full US catalog of content.
Ditto for US-exclusive services like HULU.
And if you don’t want Google, Apple, or Microsoft mining your data for profit, stop using their browsers. Go with DuckDuckGo instead. It’s totally free, they don’t track or store anything about you, and its search engine, while not quite as sophisticated as Google’s, is ideal for 90% of search queries. In fact, in some cases, it is preferable.
Tools You’ll Need To Browse Online Privately
- A VPN – We recommend NordVPN
- DuckDuckGo – It’s Basically Google, Just Without All The 1984-style Tracking & Adverts
- A VPN Router – If you want to take your privacy to the next level, you can now get VPN routers that will encrypt your entire home network from top to bottom. If you want total privacy and coverage, these routers will provide exactly what you’re looking for.
And be sure to check Why Is My Internet So Slow? Here Are 5 Ways To Fix It!
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.