Disable private browsing with IncognitoGone

Disable private browsing in major Web browsers with this parent-friendly security freeware.

All the major Web browsers offer private browsing options that make it difficult if not impossible to monitor a user's browsing history. While such features are great for responsible adults, they don't always sit well with another group of responsible adults: those responsible for children. Parents are responsible for what their children do online, yet private browsing features like Google Chrome's Incognito mode make in particularly hard for them to keep an eye on their kids in cyberspace. IncognitoGone is a free tool that disables private browsing in Chrome and Internet Explorer. In Firefox it only disables the visible private browsing option, though, meaning that users who know the keyboard shortcut can still access the feature. Before you run IncognitoGone, please understand that its effects are permanent and can't be undone.

We downloaded, extracted, and ran IncognitoGone, which opened with a small box containing four buttons, one each for Chrome, IE, Firefox, and Safari. We only had the first three installed, so the Safari entry was grayed out. Before we ran IncognitoGone, we opened each browser to verify its private browsing feature. In Firefox, that involves clicking Start Private Browsing on the Start button menu. In Chrome, it's done by opening a new Incognito window. IE's feature is called InPrivate Browsing, and it's found on the Safety menu.

We disabled the feature in each browser. IncognitoGone warned us that the change was permanent before we proceeded. When we opened IE, InPrivate Browsing was gone from the Safety menu. The new Incognito window command was inactive in Chrome's controls. However, not only was the feature still available in Firefox, but so was the menu entry.

For concerned parents or anyone who has a compelling interest in preventing incognito Web browsing on a PC they control, IncognitoGone is a boon. We don't recommend it for individuals who might want to re-enable private browsing later on since that's made difficult to do, by design. Use with caution.

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