Web browsers retain information about the web pages that you visit, the searches that you perform, usernames, passwords, and other identifiable information. This is a convenient feature when using a computer at home that is secured with a password. When using a laptop away from home, or a computer at a public location such as a library or Internet café, retained information from a web browser can be compromised. Anyone that uses that computer after you could use your information to steal your identity, steal your money, or change your passwords on important accounts.
It is possible to browse the web without the browser retaining personal information about you or your browsing habits. This is called InPrivate browsing. InPrivate browsing prevents the web browser from storing the following information:
- Browsing history
- Temporary Internet files
- Form data
To start InPrivate Browsing in Windows 7, use the following path, as shown in the figure:
Right-click Internet Explorer > Start InPrivate Browsing
If Internet Explorer is already started, use the following path:
Tools > InPrivate Browsing
Alternatively, press Ctrl+Shift+P.
While browsing, the browser stores some information, such as temporary files and cookies, but after the InPrivate session is ended, the information is deleted.
Starting InPrivate browsing opens a new browser window. Only this window provides privacy, but any new tabs opened within the window have the same protection. Other browser windows are not protected by InPrivate browsing. Closing the browser window ends the InPrivate browsing session.