Category List


Tag Cloud

Digital EvidenceForensic Readinesscomputer forensics yorkshireMarketingInnovationCases SolvedDigital Forensic Trainingcomputer forensics north englandComputer forensic case managementreportingGraduate RecruitmentPicture Imagesmobile phone forensics leedstrainingLima TrainingLegalMalicious Attackexpert witness computersmobile phone analysis yorkshireapple forensicsTalentmobile phone forensics yorkshireCase Management systemmobile phone analysis leedsSecurityConference & Exhbitionsdigital forensics leedscomputer forensic analysisforensic analysisRecruitmentContactComputer EmergenciesWindowsiphone forensicsdata recoveryCovert investigationsComputer forensics jobsJob VacanciesUpdateSC MagazineNetwork forensicsCyber AttackComputer ForensicsCase Managementcomputer investigationsStaffEmployee DisputeSoftwareiOS forensicsforensic securityMobile Phonedigital forensics warringtonHackingEventcovert forensicsComputer forensics leedsLimaForensic AssuranceUS case management softwareRemote ForensicsCase Management softwaredigital forensics londondigital forensics north-westforensic scienceIntaForensicsGraduate Training Weekchip-off forensicscomputer forensics laboratorySoftware Demonstrationmobile phone forensics jobsdigital forensics yorkshireNew FeaturesMobile Phone ForensicsCyber Crimecomputer expertdisciplinary evidenceUK case management softwareForensic Case ManagementData SecurityDigital Forensicsdigital forensic case management


Tag List

Event (1)
US case management software (1)
Conference & Exhbitions (2)
mobile phone analysis leeds (1)
Forensic Case Management (1)
Malicious Attack (1)
IntaForensics (4)
Employee Dispute (1)
Software Demonstration (1)
UK case management software (1)
Cyber Attack (1)
computer forensics laboratory (1)
mobile phone forensics leeds (1)
digital forensics london (1)
Digital Evidence (1)
computer investigations (1)
digital forensics leeds (2)
Computer Emergencies (2)
Windows (2)
reporting (1)
Case Management software (6)
Forensic Assurance (2)
Hacking (1)
Marketing (1)
Cases Solved (2)
Computer forensics leeds (1)
apple forensics (1)
forensic security (1)
Talent (1)
computer forensics yorkshire (1)
iphone forensics (1)
computer forensics north england (2)
iOS forensics (1)
Mobile Phone (1)
chip-off forensics (1)
Digital Forensic Training (1)
mobile phone analysis yorkshire (1)
computer expert (2)
Innovation (1)
digital forensics warrington (1)
Forensic Readiness (1)
digital forensics yorkshire (2)
Computer Forensics (15)
Graduate Training Week (2)
data recovery (1)
Contact (1)
Case Management (5)
Lima (8)
mobile phone forensics jobs (1)
Network forensics (1)
computer forensic analysis (1)
Computer forensics jobs (1)
mobile phone forensics yorkshire (1)
Update (1)
Lima Training (3)
forensic science (1)
digital forensic case management (1)
Cyber Crime (3)
digital forensics north-west (1)
Legal (1)
training (3)
Computer forensic case management (1)
Security (1)
Recruitment (1)
Covert investigations (1)
Mobile Phone Forensics (6)
expert witness computers (1)
Picture Images (2)
Data Security (1)
Remote Forensics (1)
Digital Forensics (9)
covert forensics (1)
Graduate Recruitment (1)
Job Vacancies (2)
SC Magazine (2)
disciplinary evidence (1)
Software (2)
New Features (1)
Case Management system (3)
forensic analysis (2)
Staff (1)

How Private Is 'In Private' Browsing?

Sep 24, 2010

Whenever a computer user accesses the internet, records of their activity are automatically stored on their PC. This information might include the keywords they have searched for, pages they have visited and even the data they have entered into online forms. For users wishing to keep certain activities away from prying eyes, the most popular internet browsers have now introduced 'In Private' browsing which offers users a way to stop the most obvious traces of activity from being stored. 

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 introduced this in the form of 'Inprivate' browsing, while Google Chrome offers an 'Incognito' mode and the soon to be released Mozilla Firefox 3.1 offers 'Private Browsing'. In Internet Explorer 8, the feature works by either preventing information from being created or by automatically deleting it once the user has finished browsing. For example, 'history' entries, which keep a record of the pages visited, are not created and form data and passwords are not stored. 

However, cookies, which provide websites with certain site-specific information about the user such as shopping cart contents, are stored as 'session cookies' meaning that they are cleared when the browser is closed. In Google Chrome, 'Incognito' mode offers similar features, as web pages visited and files downloaded are not recorded, and all cookies are deleted when the Incognito window is closed. 

While such features may afford a degree of privacy from other users, both Microsoft and Google have stressed that the modes are not designed to hide user activity from computer forensic experts or security specialists. In fact, after a round of testing, Dutch computer forensic expert Christian Prickaerts deemed the privacy afforded by Internet Explorer 8's 'Inprivate' browsing feature to be purely 'cosmetic', and warned that it should not be confused with anonymous web surfing.

In fact, the security offered by 'Inprivate' mode is mainly aimed at local level internet information, so that data regarding a user's internet activity may still be stored by the visited websites, the Internet Service Provider or the network administrator in the case of internet cafes or corporate workspaces. 

In addition, while entries are not made into the browser's 'History' file, details of web pages visited are still left intact in other areas of the computer's registry and 'cache data', which includes images and other information that IE stores to speed up browser times, is also left untouched. Such data is usually easily accessible with computer forensic software, even if it has been deleted manually. 

For home users then, the 'In Private' feature offers a useful way to keep information private from other users who are unlikely to deliberately pry, but for internet cafe users the feature should not be considered to offer significant additional security. As such, it should not be considered a replacement for other forms of internet security and the same level of caution should be exercised with regard to the type of data accessed from public locations. 

For businesses running corporate networks, it is important to ensure that systems administrators are aware of the feature, since 'In Private' browsing may remove the more obvious traces of wrongdoing. But for the time being at least, the feature offers no significant barrier to a successful investigation if computer misuse is suspected.