InPrivate Browsing Meaning & Definition

InPrivate Browsing is a feature in Internet Explorer that allows users to surf the Web without browsing history, temporary internet files, form data, cookies, and passwords being retained by the browser. It essentially keeps web sessions private. The feature is similar to Google’s Incognito mode, and the general ability to browse the internet without history, cookies, and other data not being recorded is known as private browsing.

Enabling InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing can be enabled by opening Internet Explorer, clicking on the Tools menu icon, clicking Safety within the menu, then clicking InPrivate Browsing. This will open a new Internet Explorer window that has private browsing enabled. However, beware that certain add-ons configured within the browser may be gathering and storing information. To be truly private, verify the add-ons that are enabled.

Although InPrivate Browsing will not store search entries or websites, it does cache data to the hard drive. This cached data is deleted when the private browser is closed, but it can be recovered through basic forensics. In addition, routers, firewalls, and proxy servers could still be keeping tabs on browsing activities, regardless of a private browsing session.

Private browsing

Private browsing is a privacy feature offered in many web browsers that essentially functions the same as InPrivate Browsing. Below is a chart detailing the different names for private browsing for different browsers:

Browser

Term

Safari

Private Browsing

Google Chrome

Incognito

Internet Explorer

InPrivate Browsing

Mozilla Firefox

Private Browsing

Opera

Private Tab / Private Window

Microsoft Edge

InPrivate Browsing

 

Private browsing can be used for logging onto multiple email, social network, or bank accounts at the same time. If you’re using a public computer to access accounts, such as one in a hotel lobby or library, private browsing decreases the risk that your data may be intercepted. The feature can also be used if wanting to surprise your significant other with a gift or vacation plans by keeping your researching activities quiet.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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