ANDROID users can now enable a smart feature that protects some of your most private activities.
It’s a simple hack that takes seconds to activate – but could be very useful.
The trick is related to Incognito mode, a Google Chrome browser setting that prevents your web history from being saved.
But if you left an Incognito Mode tab open, anyone with access to your smartphone could see it.
So, if you are looking for anniversary gifts for your partner, they might accidentally be exposed.
Now, Google has added a feature that lets you lock your tabs in incognito mode, as first spotted by 9to5Google.
So someone trying to access your incognito mode should unlock it using something like a fingerprint scan.
Part of the problem with incognito mode is that you might want to leave a tab open in the app.
But it creates a cybersecurity risk because someone can see it if they have access to your phone.
The new lock trick can help avoid this kind of problem.
Of course, it’s not a foolproof system.
All you get here is the ability to prevent someone holding your phone from seeing your tabs in incognito mode.
Even Incognito mode itself can’t do much.
It simply prevents your online activity from being recorded in your browser history.
But it is still possible for websites to see that you are accessing them.
And your internet service provider can also see and record that you have visited a certain website.
For better protection on this front, you would want to consider using a VPN (virtual private network).
It’s an app that encrypts and redirects your internet traffic to prevent prying eyes – including an internet service provider – from seeing exactly what you’re looking at.
So if you’re paranoid about government spying, or want to use public WiFi in a place like an airport with more confidence, then a VPN can be a great privacy tool.
How to enable Private Browsing Lock
Activating the new feature is very simple.
First, make sure you’re using the latest versions of Android and Google Chrome.
Then go to Settings > Privacy & Security.
Now find the setting “Lock incognito tabs when you quit Chrome” and enable it.
Once done, your Incognito tabs will lock when you exit the Google Chrome app.
If you don’t see the setting yet, don’t panic.
It’s being rolled out, so it may not have appeared on your handset yet.
You can force the feature to be enabled in advance by entering the following in Chrome: chrome://flags/#incognito-reauthentication-for-android
But this will only work if you are using a very recent Android version.
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