Online Privacy

Are Private Browsing and a VPN the Dynamic Duo of Internet Security?

October 6, 2022

You’re at your local coffee shop and have hopped onto the Wi-Fi hotspot with your laptop to check social media, read the latest news, and take a quick peek at your bank balance. Sure, public Wi-Fi is convenient, but did you know that unless you’re logged into a private Wi-Fi network, you could be vulnerable to having your personal information exposed? 

There are two very good tools you can use to keep prying eyes out of your devices while on public Wi-Fi. The dynamic duo of internet security - Private Browsing Mode and a VPN - when combined, work very well together to help protect your online privacy while you’re out and about.

What is private browsing?

Private browsing has many different names, including "Incognito Mode" for Google Chrome, “Private Browsing" for Safari and Firefox, or “InPrivate” browsing for Internet Explorer. Private browsing is a feature that web browsers offer to help keep your internet browsing history private. When you use this feature, it allows you to hide your browsing activity in that particular browsing session from others who share your device such as co-workers, friends, or anyone who accesses your computer without your permission. 

While it can help keep your temporary browsing history private from other users, private browsing on its own can’t hide your browsing activity from advertisers. That’s why private browsing combined with a VPN can help protect your browsing history from prying eyes.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It allows you to browse anonymously and securely by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. VPNs are handy when working remotely or traveling since they help you connect to public Wi-Fi while masking the personal information you send and receive. They establish secure and encrypted connections between you and the VPN server to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

What can a VPN do for you?

Protect your connections across Wi-Fi networks

VPNs use encryption just like banks to help secure your sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords, which can be intercepted by cybercriminals on public Wi-Fi hotspots and unsecured networks. 

Browse anonymously

By turning off your browser history, your online activity stays more private. Advertisers won't be able to track your activity and you won't be bothered by annoying targeted ads.

Easily change your location

Changing your virtual location helps maintain your privacy and security by helping prevent third parties from tracking you online. And you may even access your favorite websites, videos, or apps when you’re traveling.

Block ad trackers

Blocking ad trackers helps keep your online experiences free of unwanted ads or pop-ups. 

Together is better

Private browsing, when used in conjunction with a VPN, such as Norton Secure VPN, can help protect your online activity when using public Wi-Fi and ensure your private information stays more private. 

Is your internet activity safe and secure?

Wondering how to keep your private information away from prying eyes? Secure VPN is included in Norton 360 plans and can safeguard your passwords, bank details, and credit card numbers, and more when you connect to public Wi-Fi on your PC, Mac, or mobile device.

Don’t have one of our Norton 360 plans yet?
Click here to upgrade.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

Copyright © 2022 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.