Incognito mode won’t keep your browsing private. Do this instead
- Fast Company
This story is part of The Privacy Divide, a series that explores the misconceptions, disparities, and paradoxes that have developed around data privacy and its broader impacts on society. Read the series here.
For your “accounts” browser, I still recommend you use a privacy-focused browser, but one that doesn’t require a lot of add-ons or extensions. Remember, you’re going to want to have your “accounts” browser set up to accept some cookies and scripts so you can log in to the websites you need.
That’s why I recommend using Apple’s Safari on Mac or PC as your “accounts” browser. It’s got decent privacy protections built in, yet ones that won’t break websites you need to log in to. If you aren’t a Safari fan, other good “accounts” browser options include Microsoft’s Edge, Firefox, and Brave. As for Chrome: It’s made by Google, whose sole aim is to know everything you do online, so it’s probably best to stay away from Chrome if you value your privacy.
Once you’ve chosen your “accounts” browser, bookmark every site you use that you log in to: Google, Facebook, your bank accounts, Netflix, airline accounts, utility accounts, Amazon, dating sites, etc. Bookmark them (the toolbar is best for easy access) and access those sites only by clicking on your bookmarks.
Remember: Do not do web searches in this browser. That’s what your “everyday” browser is for. By not searching in this browser nor using it to browse the web, you’ll greatly limit the online activity the websites you do need to log in to can see. But just in case you forget this and do accidentally perform a search, make sure you change the default search engine in your “accounts” browser to DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track you.
After you’ve done this, congratulations, your “accounts” browser is now set up.
Setting up your “everyday” browser
The next step is to set up your “everyday” browser. Remember, this is the browser you will use to search and browse the web, so it’s the one you’ll be using most of the time. There are plenty of great browsers to use as your “everyday” browser, but I recommend Firefox because it offers so many built-in security and privacy protections, and even more through extensions. This makes it one of the most secure browsers you can use if set up properly. Other viable options include browsers like Brave and the Tor browser.