ETG Quick Tip: Your Browser’s Hidden Ability
Every browser has it now. It goes by different aliases, such as Private Mode, InPrivate, and Incognito -but all achieve the same purpose. If you want to go places on the ‘net and not leave any tracks on the local machine, fire up the ole’ Private Mode.
However, like most features in today’s web browser besides History, Bookmarks, and the Back Button; private mode has pretty much been left un-clicked by the average user. That is, except for those dabbling in the, um, less savory side of the Web. Certainly this feature has a more noble application, right? So, without launching into a huge dissertation, allow me to present a four cool uses you may not have thought of for Private Mode besides a high-collar trenchcoat in the red light district.
1. Web Development User Testing: So you’re working on a website and you want to see what the main page looks like while logged in as a normal user? Sure, you could sign out your admin account, but what if you want to make a lot of little incremental changes? Enter private mode. Keep your admin user logged in on the “normal” tab, and sign in as someone else in the private one.
2. Web Development Cache Kill: So you’re testing out different background images on your website, but the old locally cached picture keeps showing up instead of the new one? Fire up private mode for an instant cache kill to make sure you’re pulling the latest stuff.
3. Testing your ‘net connection: Trying to ascertain if your freshly “fixed” internet connection is actually working? Use Private mode to make sure the page isn’t just cached.
4. Shared computer, shared website: Want to use the family computer to check your Facebook, but little sis’ is waiting on photos to upload? Log in incognito and keep two sessions open at once.
As you may have noticed, these tips really take advantage of just two things: private mode kills all previous caches, and isolates cookies. If you keep in mind those two things, and don’t just think of Private Mode as just a way to hide activity, I think you’ll probably come up with your own cool uses for it.