Whenever you go to the internet and, regardless of the browser used, you systematically leave traces that provide information on everything you have done there. Going back in the history of the browser for example, we can know all the websites you have visited, or even the research you have done during your last connection. These traces are found both on your device and outside of it (for example at your internet operator or with the administrators of the computer network used). 

When you share an Android smartphone or tablet, you don't necessarily want other users to know what you're doing online. To prevent this from happening, you can use private browsing.

What is private browsing?

Private browsing or incognito browsing is a feature offered by most web browsers. It allows you to surf the Internet "without leaving a trace" on your device. When you open a normal web page, certain elements such as the history of the sites visited, the history of searches carried out, temporary files or cookies are automatically stored on your device, and accessible during the next openings. By switching to incognito browsing, all these elements are systematically erased once the browser is closed.

It should however be noted that browsing in private mode does not mean that you are surfing anonymously, your internet service provider being able to access your browsing data at any time. In addition, if you use your company's connection, the administrators of your company's computer network can also know everything you do on the internet if they wish. This also applies to webmasters of websites who automatically have access to your IP address, as soon as you connect to their platform.

On the other hand, even if you use browsing in incognito mode and you voluntarily download files from the internet, or save favorites, these will remain on your device after closing the browser, and other users will be able to do so. have access.

How to open a incognito window with Google Chrome?

To surf quietly in private mode with Google Chrome on your Android smartphone or tablet, start by pressing the icon representing the browser to open it. Once done, tap on the menu represented by the three vertically aligned dots at the top right of the Chrome window. From the options that appear, tap "New private browsing tab". A new tab appears to the right of the usual tabs, with the mask icon. You can then start surfing incognito.

It is also possible to open a web page privately on Android with Chrome, by making a light long press on the browser icon. In the pop-up menu that appears, just tap "Private browsing tab".

When you try to open an incognito browser window on Google Chrome, you may see the following message: "Screenshots are not allowed by the app or your organization." If so, it means that there is most likely a restriction on the network being used. Open a normal browser window, or use your own connection to browse in private mode.

NB: opening a private browsing tab does not prevent you from accessing your open web pages in normal mode.

How to open a private browser window with the Firefox browser on Android?

Opening a web page in private mode on Android with the Firefox browser is done in just a few steps. After opening the browser, press the menu (represented by the three horizontal lines located in the upper right corner of your screen, or at the bottom for some), then on "New private browsing tab". 

If you try to open a link in incognito browsing with Firefox, copy this link and paste it in a window already open in private mode. It is also possible to make a long press on this link to display a contextual menu and choose the option "Open in private navigation".

To display all the windows that you have opened in private mode in your browser, press the tabs icon, then the icon represented by a mask.

How to open a private browser window with the Opera browser on Android?

First, open Opera on your phone or tablet. On the home page of the browser, you will see the O logo at the top left, press it and choose from the list that appears "New private window".

If you are using Opera mini, tap the tabs icon, which is indicated by a square with a number inside. Two modes appear at the top of the screen: normal mode on the left and private mode on the right. Press on it and a window will appear with a message in the background inviting you to tap + to open a new private tab, do it and start surfing incognito.

Is it possible to switch to private browsing by default?

On Android, the default private browsing is not yet available. It is however possible to switch to private mode by default on your computer.

To activate incognito browsing by default on Google Chrome for example, right-click on the browser shortcut located on the desktop, and click on “Property” at the very bottom of the menu that appears. Then click on the "Shortcut" tab. In the "Target" field is the link of the shortcut, place the cursor at the end of the latter and press the space key, then insert the parameter - incognito. Confirm the modification by clicking on “OK”. Your browser will now automatically open in private mode.

The methodology is almost the same if you want to switch to private browsing by default on Firefox and Opera browsers. Except that instead of the - incognito parameter, you must add the - private for Firefox, and - new private tab for Opera parameters.