Today, by sheer accident, I hit a key command that opened a new window in my Google Chrome browser, which announced that I had gone incognito!
“You’ve gone incognito. Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.”
Very mysterious… and, as it was once my childhood dream to be a top secret spy, I was instantly intrigued! Essentially, incognito windows allow you to open websites and download files without recording your browsing and download histories since all new cookies are deleted after you close incognito windows.
Stealthy browsers may find it frustrating that Google Chrome disables all extensions for incognito windows, but they can be re-enabled individually via the extensions manager. And while browsing in an incognito window keeps Google Chrome from storing information, the websites themselves may still have records of your visit.
One thing I found humorous though was the disclaimer you can see in the image above that reads, “Going incognito doesn’t affect the behavior of other people, servers, or software. Be wary of: People standing behind you.” Look out!
So, what was that mysterious keyboard shortcut that lead me to this discovery? Ctrl+Shift+N Happy browsing!