Reading Time: 2 minutes

Google Chrome has added an experimental setting in the new upcoming Android version of Chrome that will allow Chrome users to block access to their Incognito tabs. Access to these Incognito tabs will only be granted when the user enters the correct lock screen password or provides their fingerprint for biometric detention.

This means that if your phone’s face detection feature doesn’t recognize you, your fingerprint reader doesn’t detect your fingerprint, or the passcode you enter is wrong, access to Incognito mode will remain blocked. However, this may be a bit of a payoff. Standard and Incognito tabs are usually left open by users for faster access. However, this new level of authentication causes a bit of a delay in accessing it.

What is Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode?

Chrome’s Incognito Mode is exactly like a private browsing mode offered by various other browsers that are meant to keep you private by ensuring that your internet activity is not saved in your browsing history. This mode is simply a boost of privacy, but it’s not completely efficient.

However, this new feature is a great privacy boost for all Incognito users. If someone has access to your phone, then there is nothing stopping that person from invading and snooping into the sites you’re trying to keep to yourself. Your device might be password protected or secured by biometrics, but prying into your phone can be super-easy if you hand over your unlocked phone to someone for even a brief period.

Staying Private

While a new flag has been added to Chrome Canary (named incognito-reauthentication-for-android, for those who are interested), the feature seems to be inactive for now. Chances are that Google would either activate the option in the future Canary build update or it may be enabled through a server-side update.

One thing’s for sure, the option would become available in Google Chrome’s stable version of Android in a few months instead of weeks. However, it would first be tested by users desiring to try out the pre-released apps in the Canary and Beta versions of Chrome.

Note: If you haven’t tried out Chrome Canary for Android and desire to do it, then you can get it from here.

Android is matching paces with iOS – Analysis

This feature being launched on Android is not technically surprising to many users as it was first launched on iOS. However, it seems like the incognito lockdown feature will only be available for mobile devices only, at least for now.

This technically makes sense as both iOS and Android offer multiple security options including fingerprint sensors and cameras for facial recognition.

Although the new feature can also be implemented for Desktops and Laptops, it is not guaranteed. Moreover, locking tabs with a password is a less convenient option and something Google would not want to implement for desktop users.

Impact of this Incognito feature on Android and iOS users

Android and iOS users who commit to using the Incognito mode would soon become a tad bit more secure with this latest feature. Someone might know your phone’s password, but snooping into your browser history could become a difficult task for them. This means that you can easily hand over your handset to anyone without worrying that anyone would be able to sneak into your browsing history.

However, hiding your browsing history might become easy from the people around you, but your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can still monitor what you’re searching for even on the Incognito mode.

While this might sound scary, a quick solution to curb this is to get a reliable VPN service for this. A VPN is one solid privacy booster. Let’s look at 3 reasons why you need a VPN for your privacy:

1. A VPN would encrypt your entire network, make your connection completely secure, and protect you from your ISP’s snooping.

2. A VPN alters your actual IP address from a VPN-enabled IP and refuses to leak your actual IP to anyone. You can learn more about this by reading a detailed DNS leak test guide.

3. It protects hackers from reaching you or snooping into your connection.