You’ve probably come across the terms like incognito or private browsing, and maybe you’ve given it a try yourself. But have you ever considered how it might affect your kid as they start exploring the online world on their own?

At Pinardin, our aim is to keep parents informed about everything related to the Internet, so they can be ready for any potential online risks their kids might face. Incognito browsing is one of those things that can be a concern, so let’s dive into what parents should be aware of regarding this feature.

What Is Incognito Mode?

Imagine incognito mode as your web browser’s secret hideout – a place where your online activities don’t leave a trace. It’s like a magic cloak that doesn’t remember your log-ins or passwords after you’re done using it. Once you shut down that special tab or window, poof! Your search history disappears, leaving no clues behind – well, at least not for regular users. (Just a heads-up, though: if you’re browsing on a work computer, the company might still have a record of what you did.)

Now, let’s talk about how kids have been using this virtual invisibility cloak since it first came out in 2005, thanks to Apple. It’s become a go-to trick for those moments of curiosity about the not-so-family-friendly corners of the internet. Sneaky, right?

Of course, not every use of incognito mode is fishy. There are perfectly good reasons for it too. Picture this: you’re planning a surprise birthday party for your kid, and they often borrow your computer. You wouldn’t want your secret plans to accidentally pop up the next time they’re doing homework on Google, right? That’s where incognito mode swoops in to save the day. It’s also handy for dodging those annoying targeted ads – just be careful not to log in to any websites while you’re on your undercover mission. Some browsers, like DuckDuckGo, are like professional secret keepers designed to shield you from those pesky ads.

But, here’s the catch when it comes to kids and online safety – incognito browsing might stir up more trouble than it’s worth.

What Parents Need to Know

All browsers have a private mode option

as a parent, it’s important to be aware that regardless of which browser your child uses, they can browse the internet in private mode. Different browsers may use different names for this feature such as incognito mode, private mode, private browsing, hidden browsing, or even guest mode. But, it’s essentially the same undercover feature across the board. Just thought you should know!

Private mode isn’t as private as you think

It’s a common misconception that browsing in incognito mode makes you completely anonymous online. While it does hide your activity from others using the same device, the websites you visit can still track your online behavior. This applies to everyone, including your internet provider, employer, or school. As a parent, it’s especially important to be aware of your child’s online activity, especially if they are using school-issued technology.

It’s always a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your kids about the lasting impact of their online actions. Even if they think they are deleting messages or browsing in incognito mode, their internet activity can still leave a digital footprint. So, it’s important to remind them that whatever they do online doesn’t just disappear into thin air.

YouTube has an incognito mode

Did you know that YouTube has an incognito mode? It’s true! All you have to do is go to your account and click on “Turn on Incognito” at the top. This feature works just like the incognito mode on any browser, which means that any videos you watch in this mode won’t be saved after you turn it off.

This is especially important for parents to know since YouTube is one of the most popular social media sites among teens. However, unfortunately, there isn’t currently a way to permanently disable or block this feature within the YouTube app. But don’t worry, you can always reach out to YouTube and request this feature!