Today's browsing world can be very "big brother". I constantly feel like I"m being tracked and marketed to and while I undertand that is the world I live and work in, sometimes I really need to just search for flights without being shown hot to get from the Gold Coast to Turkey on every single page I visit for the next few weeks.
Enter: Private Browser Windows!
You all know I use Google Chrome for 80% of my work day. While I do use other browsers every day its Chrome that is my default browser so while other browsers do of course have this facility, its Chrome I'm talking about today.
What is Incognito?
Incognito mode will erase your browsing and search history from any websites you visit during the session as well as deleting any cookies your browser picked up along the way. Cookies are the little tracking slivers of info that websites store on your browser to give them information about your visit, your location and also for the purpose of advertising relevant content to you at a later date. By not storing these you won't expose yourself to what can be a very annoying few weeks of remarketing based around your website visits.
My primary reason for using incognito windows is mostly personal I will admit. If I'm searching for flights or accommodation for our next trip I flat out don't want to be distracted by adds for this for the next few weeks, so I use incognito. Once I'm done I know that I'm not going to get adds everywhere for the next few weeks which will drive me crazy!
A primary benefit to me is that by not having a record of my searches, prices aren't going to go up when I go back to those travel websites. They don't know I was already looking so don't show me inflated prices based around the fact that they know where and when I want to fly. On the down side of this, I also don't get any "Prices have dropped" emails from Booking.com which if I'm honest, has saved me a bundle in the past.
Another benefit of using an incognito window could be to avoid your "free" limit on pay per use websites such as newspapers for example. Some news websites will give you access to full articles up to a limited number and then their pay per view kicks in. IE you may be allowed to read 7 articles before they max you limit and ask you to start paying. That's fair enough to me but using an incognito browser, you aren't storing any cookies and you can confuse their system into thinking you are a new visitor every time. Less than ethical in my book, however it's not illegal and there is no way these large companies don't know you can easily do this. Its just too expensive for them to keep you out altogether so for now, this work around is completely overlooked by most business operating on the pay to play model after so many free visits.
How Do I Open An Incognito Window?
In Chrome its really easy. You see the three little dots at the far right hand side of your browser window?
Click on those
Click "New incognito window" and Voila! Done.
It's that simple. Browse away.
What Won't An Incognito Window Do?
Most browsers have an incognito function, some call it different things, but for most of them, clicking the menu on the right hand side should put you in the right place to find the private browsing window.
How many times have you gone to a website, only to leave inside 4 seconds when it isn't fully loaded.
Slow loading websites are 99% of the time caused by too large image files. Images that aren't just large in physical dimensions but also in kb size are DEATH TO YOUR WEBSITE!
I know your skill set probably isn't resizing images but there is a free and easy way to do it.
Hello Image Optimizer
There are more than a few image resizing tools out there, however I've found this to be very easy and wonderfully add free!
To use it is very simple. You can just upload your images online or download their image resizer to your PC. I've only ever used the online version primarily as I'm horribly suspicious of anything I have to download. You can make your own decision.
" The steps are very easy, simply choose your file, set what options you want and the maximum sizes, and click Optimize Now.
Click the Optimize Now button and wait. Remember that it has to upload your large image so it's not instantaneous. Spend that time thinking about how frustrating this would be for a visitor to your website if they were trying to load your page with three 4mb images! Makes sense now doesn't it.
Once you are done, you will see a resulting output as below. Simply download the file to your computer. Make sure to save it in your "Optimized Images" folder - you don't want to confuse the files. Also remember to rename it to a meaningful file name before you upload it.
Small business owner, web developer and programmer.
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