For those who are unaware of this feature of your web browser, incognito mode is a quick and easy way to keep your browsing private. Aside from your browsing history not being stored by your browser, you won’t be logged into any of your social accounts, and any prior sessions and cookie data that contains your browsing history and preferences will not be available for access to websites.
Incognito mode is popular among those who are concerned about privacy and security, especially when accessing private information on shared computers, since you don’t have to worry about forgetting to log out or anybody unintentionally or maliciously accessing your account.
Aside from privacy and security advantages that it offers, using incognito windows is also a really useful money-saving hack. Here’s how.
# 1 Get Around Paywalls
Have you clicked on an interesting article only to be asked for a subscription fee to continue reading because you’ve already reached the quota for free articles that month? Many websites use paywalls as such to monetize but the incognito mode can help you get around these paywalls.
Since cookies are not kept on your browser, you’re like a new visitor each time you visit the site, thus resetting the limit for free articles. This will make it difficult or impossible for the sites to enforce the limit for free articles and you can enjoy reading the articles without forking out a single cent.
# 2 Avoid Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing is when retailers alter the prices of their products based on customers’ browsing or purchasing history, and even zip codes. Whenever we browse the internet in normal browser, our cache, cookies and browsing history will be saved. By understanding our interests and thus willingness to pay, retailers can easily manipulate prices.
To avoid price hikes based on your search history, incognito mode can help to reduce the information that websites are able to track. Nonetheless, websites might still be able to classify you under a specific demographic basket which can change the price you see. But using incognito mode is still a clever move to compare and check that you’re not getting manipulated by the pricing game that online retailers play.
Dynamic pricing can sometimes work in your favour too. Online retailers may drop the price of products that you’re interested in to give you a little push in making the final purchase decision by making it seem like you’ve clinched a better deal. However, if this is the case for products you never intended to buy, it might result in impulsive purchases which you might regret later.
True enough, dynamic pricing really exists when we tried on travel websites, and in both favourable and unfavourable directions. Even the recommended flights are different in both normal and incognito modes.
# 3 Reduce Temptations
Ever felt like the shopping cart you were so close to checking out was following you on every single website you visit after you’ve left the store? Don’t worry you’re not alone. With tracing capabilities from cookies, online retailers can easily bombard you with targeted advertising by feeding you products that they know would be of interest to you.
“Similar products”, “Customers who bought this item also bought…” and “Recommended products” are familiar sections that always catch our attention during browsing. Many end up buying these items on impulse since seeing such repetitive advertisements would eventually make them irresistible. More often than not, these advertisements are also packaged as a time-limited sale which add to the temptations. For all you shopaholics out there, the best way to resist temptation is to steer clear of it.
Incognito mode would not be able to prompt interest-based advertisements without cookies. This way, less information about your browsing habits are given to these websites which means that the advertisements you see will also be less catered to your current wants. Hence, being left with irrelevant ads on your Facebook feed, you are indirectly helping yourself to save money. Out of sight, out of mind.
Are You Truly Incognito? Not Completely
While incognito mode is designed to enhance your privacy, always keep in mind that it does NOT offer complete privacy. Your service provider will still be able to track your history and if you log into your Google account in an incognito window before performing a search, a record of that search might be saved in your account.
Nonetheless, be it getting a surprise gift online or hiding search terms on the family PC, there are endless reasons for keeping your browsing history private and incognito window can be your next best friend.