How technology impacts us.

Is Your Private Browsing Really Private? (Infographic)

Every time you go online to use an app or a website, you’re sending out your own personal data—sometimes without even knowing it. As more people grow cautious about where they submit their data, services will offer ways for their users to “protect” their data.

Private Browsing- Most browsers offer this option for users to anonymize their online activity. It’s helpful if you want to delete your web history as you browse. It also allows you to log onto an account without logging out others. But, private browsing doesn’t protect you from malware and data theft. Although it’s easy to use, it doesn’t delete the information an ISP or WiFi network can collect from you.

Virtual Private Network- This tool sends your encrypted data through a secure network “tunnel.” It’s ideal if you want to anonymize your data while you go online with a public WiFi connection. People that travel often for their work, for example, would enjoy this tool. However, your DNS provider and the intermediate network can still view your information. Not to mention, it’s also complex and expensive to maintain.

Proxy Server- This server is another excellent way to anonymize your information while using public WiFi. It functions as a “gateway” allowing you to transmit information to a web page with some anonymity. But encryption quality varies, and proxy servers can sometimes be slow during high traffic times.

Secure Browser- Secure browsers conceal user’s location and usage. Although these browsers route traffic through their network (making it difficult for people to see where traffic is coming from), it doesn’t mean all of your activity will be private. The pros are it’s difficult to hack and gives access only to sites reachable through secure browsers. However, secure browsers are illegal in some countries. They’re also slower to use, compared to mainstream browsers.

Private Search Engines – Aside from these anonymous web services people use, recently there’s also been a rise in private search engines. Search engines cleverly track your data, because they know that you use it if you’re looking for a quick solution to an everyday task.

For more details about these services above, as well as the pros and cons of each, take a look at this infographic from Varonis.