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Differences between private browsing and VPN for your online privacy

Enrique R
Enrique R
5 min read

Occasionally we need to hide our fingerprint, and there are various mechanisms, whose usefulness depends on what we need at the moment.

Differences between private browsing and VPN for your online privacy
VPN networks and anonymous browsing offer different levels of privacy

On the internet, the subject of the fingerprint is one of the most controversial. There are experts who claim (with good reason), that the fingerprint is never really erased, according to the different mechanisms a user can be traced even based on his writing style.

However, on a technical level, some tools and tricks allow us to erase our tracks at a certain level, which helps us manage ourselves with privacy. These resources include private browsing and VPNs.

Incognito mode browsing

The most basic level of privacy is what we know as private browsing or incognito mode, but its scope is limited to the computer on which you search or interact online.

Differences between private browsing and VPN for your online privacy
Private browsing or incognito mode protects your footprint on the equipment you use

When opening an incognito window, this tool prevents the computer from storing your searches in history or the cache, in this way, those primary traces that we leave for each site in which we browse, will be deleted as soon as we close the window.

The principle of private browsing is that someone else cannot track your searches or sessions, even if they use the same computer once you have closed your browsing windows.

This resource, which is available in most browsers as "incognito mode", is useful if you want to buy Christmas gifts, or a birthday present, since your relatives will not know what pages you have been consulting on the Internet.

Security advantages in private browsing

Private browsing is also useful if we work in public spaces such as a cafe, at a friend's house, university, work and others.

If we consult our bank account, PayPal or other digital managers for financial operations, even if we log out correctly, it is more convenient that we delete the record of our access to said space.

Social media activity will also be better covered if you completely delete your query from the log by closing anonymous browsing.

It should be clarified that browsing privately or in incognito mode will not delete your registration on the servers nor will it deceive the controls of the different pages, where there may be any type of access limitation due to geolocation or visitor segmentation.

For the reasons stated, there are other mechanisms, more solid than private browsing, and VPNs stand out among these.

Differences between private browsing and VPN for your online privacy
A VPN is a useful layer of protection for surfing the net

Privacy with VPN networks (Virtual Private Network)

Access through a VPN implies a much deeper level of privacy, since now we are talking about covering the IP and even the geolocation from where you enter any website.

With VPN networks, we can access websites that block access from our country. It is one of the most common uses of this resource.

However, precisely because of this use, some forums and digital spaces prevent access to any user connected from a VPN.

One of the best advantages of this type of network is that messages and data are handled in an encrypted manner, this is a format that codifies all the information and prevents it from being accessed externally.

To better illustrate the protection offered by a VPN, we can think of a huge room, where all your searches can be seen, but with a single entrance, completely covered on the sides, top and bottom and whose only window to enter is the VPN.

A VPN network is NOT a technology for crime

There is a widespread myth that labels VPN networks as a technology designed to commit crimes, but it is a false statement.

A VPN offers interesting and useful protection for handling sensitive information, something that is useful in many regular lawful circumstances.

In this way, we can establish a simple comparison between private browsing and VPN networks, as a system that offers us privacy on the computer to which we connect (private/incognito browsing), and another that decodes our information, hiding our IP and geolocation from the internet. time to connect (VPN).

Differences between private browsing and VPN for your online privacy
Data encryption is one of the best advantages of a VPN network

Recommendations to protect our privacy when browsing the internet

Beyond the resources or tools that we use, there are some useful tips that help us protect our data, avoiding scams, identity theft and other crimes.

  • Do not agree to record your passwords on any equipment. This even applies to your personal team. Any question about recording passwords or access data to "facilitate" its use must be rejected, it is a danger to leave your recorded data on the computer.

  • Correctly close the session on banking networks and platforms. Usually, banking platforms and managers for economic transactions such as Paypal or Uphold, have a mechanism that automatically closes the session after a certain time without activity, but it is convenient to close your session when you finish using them.

  • Do not use basic sequences, dates of birth or birthdays for passwords. When it comes to accessing your accounts, these are the first options that cybercriminals try, passwords like 1234,000,9876 or special dates that they can find out by investigating you, they are likely to be discovered and you could go through a nasty identity theft.