Great uses for private browsing
By Joseph D. Lienjdlien. Monday, August 30, 2010 5:18:11 PM
Most browsers now support some form of private browsing. Have you ever considered the many uses of private browsing outside of the obvious?
Earlier in the year, Opera debuted a major new version of Opera that featured the ability to use private tabs and private windows. Essentially, using private browsing ensures that data about the sites you visit will all disappear from your computer as soon as you close your tab, so you have no worries about sites showing up in your history, cache, or other places where traces of your previously visited webpages might be kept.
Now, most people think of private browsing as a feature used to hide their browsing of "naughty" subjects of interest from others who use a computer -- but there are quite a few interesting uses for private browsing that don't involve pornography. Here are ten such uses for Opera's private browsing.
Log into your private accounts from a friend's computer
When you use a site like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Banking sites or site that requires that you log in, your login is usually recorded in a cookie and saved until you explicitly logout. If you forget to do this, you might inadvertently give another access to your account! With private tabs, however, the browser will not remain logged into these sites once they are closed.
Use multiple accounts on one website simultaneously
If you use more than a single account on a website - for instance, you have two Gmail accounts, you can open a second account without logging out of your first account by opening the site in a private tab. (This is handy for computer technicians working on someone else's computer).
Manage a group of tabs
If you want to open several related tabs for a specific task, you can open them as private tabs. This will help to distinguish them from your other tabs, and When you are completed, it's easy to close them all at once by right-clicking a tab and clicking "Close All Private Tabs" or pressing Ctrl+Shift+Q (in Windows).
Keep your Facebook use private
Sometimes you might not want other users of a computer seeing who and what you've been looking at on Facebook (or other sites). Some users also use private browsing on Facebook to avoid having Facebook's cookies stored on their computers.
Sometimes it's more fun to be able to surprise your girlfriend or kids, and leaving traces of what you've been looking at on the net can give it away
Similarly to the previous point, when buying gifts online for someone else who might use your computer, you can keep your purchase a secret with private mode. Open a private tab and problem solved. (This might be handy for shopping for yourself as well if the wife, uh, doesn't agree with your spending habits).
Reduce your footprint on others' computers
If you're temporarily using a computer that belongs to someone else, or you have a company-owned computer at work, you might want to keep your personal data off of the computer - not to hide your tracks, but just to keep the browser history free of irrelevant information.
Research a private subject
Perhaps you are concerned about a medical condition, but don't want to worry family members. You can research it in private mode. On the same token, if you are looking into new a job, you may not want to make your employer aware of it if they stumble upon browser history indicating this fact.
Opening pages that may potentially be NSFW or risqué
Sometimes you may want to open a page but are worried that the page may contain content (such as advertisements) that are not appropriate for work or kids to see. To be safe, you could preemptively open the link in a private tab.
Testing websites you are developing
If you're a developer, using private mode is a handy way to test cookie and session related aspects of websites, because you will have a unique session or cookie each time you close and reopen your private tabs.
Respond to today's poll! Your response is, of course, private
So there you have it. How you have some very valid
excuses reasons for using private browsing. Can you think of others? What are your reasons for private browsing?