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Google Chrome Incognito Mode: Here’s What You Need To Know

Such private browsing mode is designed to prevent data breaches by removing history and cookies associated with an individual browsing session.

What is Google Chrome Incognito Mode?

To be more specific, Incognito Mode is Google Chrome’s private mode where your browsing history, cookies, and browsing data is not saved by Google Chrome. It allows you to browse the web privately keeping your security intact and hides you from data-hungry publishers who steal browsing cookies and history to show you relevant notifications. Incognito mode means an assumed or false identity!

Tip: Chrome won’t save your browsing history, cookies and site data or information entered in forms.

Also Read: Best google chrome security extensions

How Does Incognito Mode Work?

When you normally browse, your browser collects your browsing information like history, saved cookies, search strings, downloaded data information, and cache to speed up page load time.

Google Incognito Mode helps you to browse without going public. Your search history and cookies are not saved by your browser. Using Incognito mode means your identity is not going private and the browser is not capturing your search behavior.

Tip: Your activity might still be visible to websites you visit, your employer or school or your internet service provider.

How to Turn ON Incognito Mode?

Step 1. Open your web browser (Google Chrome).

A new Google Incognito window will open with the Google Incognito mode. It will have an Incognito icon on the top-right corner.

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to turn on Incognito mode. On your Windows, Linux or Chrome OS, you just need to open the Google Chrome browser and press (Ctrl + Shift + N) to open an Incognito Window.

If you are using a Mac, you can press (Command ⌘ + Shift + N) key combination.

How to Turn Off Incognito Mode?

To turn off Incognito mode, there is nothing you need to do. You just need to close the Incognito tab that you have opened for the Incognito search. Closing the tab will clear all the history, cookies and browsing data that you used in the Incognito Window.

Tip: You can switch between Incognito Window to a Regular Window as many times as you want. But a regular window will always save your data until you go Incognito.

How to Turn ON Incognito Mode on Android?

To turn on Incognito mode on an Android device, you will need to follow these steps.

Step 1. Tap on the Google Chrome browser icon on the device.

Step 2. On the right-hand side of the address bar, tap on the three dots to explore menu options.

Step 3. Tap on the ‘New Incognito Tab’ option and you will see the Incognito window.

Step 4. When you are down browsing, you can close the Incognito search window.

Tip: You can’t take a screenshot of your phone if you are using an Incognito window.

Private Browsing in Other Web Browsers

Similar to Google Incognito mode, other web browsers also offer private browsing.

Hidden Facts Behind Google Incognito Mode

After reading this article on Google Chrome Incognito mode, you may wish to use it while banking or performing an Incognito search though few researchers claim that Google Incognito mode is still not safe.

And they are TRUE to some extent. Google can still identify you even though you are using Google Incognito Mode. Google can still link your browsing history, cookies and identity to the websites that you browsed being undercover in Google Private Browsing.

Google warns you that your activity may still be visible to your visited websites, your internet service providers, and the school or employer that holds control to the network.

There is a Way Out to This Situation!

Now that you know how to turn on Incognito mode and what does Incognito mode do, you can use a trick to hide while using Chrome private mode.

The best way to keep yourself safe is to log out of the browser, close all the browser tabs and then initiate Google Incognito mode. Logging off will delink your identity from the browser until your next login. All the browsing cookies, cache, history will not be associated with your Google Account as it is logged off. Next time when you use Google Incognito, ensure to Browse safe, stay safe and use Google private browsing like a professional.

Tip: The above solution is a silver bullet to your identity security while browsing.

Wrapping Up

In this round-up, we have covered what is Incognito mode and how does Incognito mode work. You have also explored how to turn ON Incognito mode on different web browsers and how to smartly exit out of the Incognito search.

Next Read: Gboard Brings Incognito Mode For Supporting Apps

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Onedrive Will Get New Sharing Features Soon: Here’s What You Need To Know

OneDrive will get new sharing features soon: Here’s what you need to know

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Microsoft is preparing some big updates for OneDrive. As soon as the company revealed its roadmap for Office 365, we noticed a couple of interesting additions for every version of OneDrive, including OneDrive for Business and its web version.

Most of the improvements deal with OneDrive for Business’ sharing features. We’ve listed each notable change here, so you can find more information about the upcoming improvements in one place.

Simplified sharing from OneDrive for Business from the web

Microsoft will make the sharing experience in the web version of OneDrive for Business easier. The previously-established workflow of users emailing links or saving them to the clipboard will remain.

We’re updating the user experience for sharing files and folders in OneDrive for Business from the web.  This new sharing experience simplifies the flow of emailing links to colleagues and guests and copying links to the clipboard. Like the original experience, the new experience presents two choices to users who want to share: type email addresses to send a link in email, or copy a link to the clipboard. Both the “Share” and “Get a link” command support all three types of links in OneDrive, including anonymous access links (accessible by anyone), company shareable links (accessible to those within your organization) and restricted links (accessible to a custom set of users both in and outside your organization).

The revamped feature allows users to easily choose their sharing method. Microsoft already started rolling out this feature and is expected to be completed in by the end of February.

Dedicated OneDrive for Business Admin Console

Microsoft added a graphical user interface to the Office 365 Console to make management easier for admins.

One useful feature Microsoft will implement in the upcoming update is a success indicator for sending links. .

Today, when a user adds an ODB modern attachment, there’s no indication before sending that sharing with their recipients will work. We’re adding Sharing Tips to fix this by adding tips that warn you if sharing with your recipients will not work and provides a suggested action. In addition, Outlook will use the best URL for your situation – in most cases the Company sharing link.

Outlook on the web: OneDrive Sharing Improvements

Finally, Microsoft will be introducing more access levels, like “anyone can edit” and “anyone in my organization can edit.” That way, group admins will be in full control over users’ assignments within the project.

Today, modern attachments are shared by default with “recipients can edit” access and you can switch to “recipients can view” access before you send your mail. With this update, you’ll also be able to switch to other access levels such as “anyone can edit” and “anyone in my organization can edit.

Microsoft has already started rolling out these features to all eligible users. However, as the rollout is gradual, not everyone will get them at the same time but they should arrive by the end of this month.

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Google Meet Without Google Account: Everything You Need To Know

Google Meet has become the go-to video conferencing solution for millions of people across the globe. Thanks to neat integration with the entire Google software suite, any Google user can create a Google Meet session any time they feel like it. All you need is a personal Google account — Gmail, to be specific — and you are good to go.

Although billions of users have already registered with Google, there are still a chosen few who do not feel comfortable putting down their personal details. And that is where things can get a little complicated. So, today, we’ll try to simplify this conundrum and tell you if you can use Google Meet without actually signing up with Google. Let’s get to it. 

Related: 8 Best Google Meet Firefox Add-ons in 2023

Do you need a google account to use Google Meet? 

Like all other video conferencing applications, Google Meet is split into two parts: joining and hosting. If you are looking to host a Google Meet session without a Google account, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. At present, there is no way for a non-Google account holder to host a meeting. However, if you are only concerned with joining a Google Meet meeting, there is a rather inconspicuous workaround. 

Non-paid Google Meet users or personal users do not get the privilege of hosting non-Google account holders. So, if you are trying to join a Google Meet session initiated by a personal account holder, you’re out of luck. Gsuite users, on the other hand, are a more privileged lot. Not only do they enjoy all the highlighted perks of a paid Google Meet account, but they also make it easier for non-Google users to join their meetings. 

Related: 20 Google Meet Chrome extensions you can try in 2023

Can you join google meet without a Google account?

As discussed in the section above, you cannot host a meeting without joining the Google ecosystem. However, if you only intend to join the occasional Google Meet sessions, you are in luck. Of course, you cannot join a meeting initiated by a free Google Meet user. But if you get an invite from a paid Google account holder, you would be able to join the meeting without breaking a sweat. 

Related: How To Grant Permission to Share Screen in Google Meet

What happens if try to join a free Google Meet session without an account?

Google Meet is now available for free for all Google account holders. However, that doesn’t mean Google has forgotten to pay its premium users the utmost respect. If someone with a free Google account invites you to a Google Meet meeting, you will be asked to sign in to your Google account.

If you do not have a Google account and fail to log in, you will not be able to join. 

How to join google meet without a Google account

Once you’re admitted, there would be no distinction between you — a non-Google account holder — and a premium GSuite user. Additionally, if you have a Google account but want to start a new session as an anonymous user, you could open an Incognito tab from your browser and get to work. 

If, for some reason, you do not manage to get to the “What’s your name?” section, please make sure your invitation is from a premium account holder only. An invitation from a free account holder will not do you any good. 

Can you join a meeting from the Google Meet app without a Google account?

As you may have noticed in the section above, we left out the conversation about mobile devices. And there’s a reason why we did that deliberately. Despite being almost as powerful as the web client, the Google Meet application on Android and iOS does not allow you to join a meeting without signing in to your Google account. If you go through the app, you will not find a dedicated space to join meetings without signing in to your Google account.

Alternatively, when you run the invite link on your browser, you will be asked to select any of the Google accounts that you are currently running on your mobile. At the time of writing, Google Meet is yet to offer a solution for non-Google account users.

How to join a meeting from your mobile without a Google account?

Yes, the Google Meet app on Android and iOS doesn’t allow you to join a meeting without signing in to Google. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot join a meeting from your mobile. You can get the desired outcome through the most popular browser on the planet — Google Chrome.

If you paste the invite link straight to the address bar at the top of your browser, you will be asked to select your preferred Google account. However, if you ask the browser to load up the desktop version, you will get the option to enter the meeting without actually signing in to your Google account. Of course, the invite still needs to come from a paid GSuite user and not a free, personal account. 

Additionally, if you are already signed into a Google account on your Chrome browser, you will not be able to sign in without associating a Google account with the call. To remedy that, you have to load up an Incognito tab. To do so, first, tap on the vertical ellipsis button at the top-right corner of the screen.

Now, tap on ‘New incognito tab.’

Now, enter the meeting link at the top of the screen in the address bar text field and load it.

It is to be noted that loading the desktop version of the Google Meet website is quite demanding, which could lead to overheating on some smartphones. Additionally, since smartphone displays are considerably smaller than computers, there could be some visibility issues. Thankfully, you can always zoom in if needed. 

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What You Need To Know About Smart Tvs

Since the early 2010s, smart TVs have become a significant presence in the modern home entertainment marketplace. A hybrid of television and computing technologies, they serve as a central hub for entertainment and news from a wide range of sources: over-the-air broadcasts, cable, streamed video from the Internet, as well as game consoles, Blu-ray players and other devices. Though gadget-lovers appreciate the variety possible with smart TVs, old-school TV fans may prefer the simplicity of a basic television set.

Appearance

Smart TVs look like almost any modern traditional television set: a familiar rectangular screen on a stand, a forest of connector sockets on the backside, and a remote control. The real difference is in what you don’t see – the microprocessors, software, and other tech on the inside.

Technology

Operating System

When you turn a smart TV on, it “boots” like a computer into an custom operating system tailored to managing its various functions. The OS software coordinates the video sources, runs the apps, and provides on-screen menus you navigate with the remote.

Apps

Traditional TV programming from cable, satellite or antenna is but one of many functions offered on a smart TV. They come with a host of apps, each tailored to a specific purpose. In addition to factory-installed apps, you can typically add hundreds of others. Streaming apps, such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, provide content from these sources. There are also apps for games which run on the TV itself. Other apps deliver specialty content such as for sports leagues and a range of Interests. Utility apps let you “mirror” video and images from your smartphone, laptop or tablet device, or display a slideshow of pictures from a USB stick.

High Definition

Smart TV features are typically found on higher-end models, so they come with High-Definition and 4/8K screens. Note that not all ultra high definition TVs have what it takes to be a smart TV. Some offer a super-sharp picture without the processor, apps or WiFi.

Advantages

The features found on smart TVs command a premium price compared to simpler models, so be prepared to spend money. Their flexibility and sophistication also means they’re complicated, with many features to learn and menus to navigate. Because of the remote’s limited ability to enter text, web browsing and other functions are more awkward than doing the same task on a tablet. Also, some smart TVs spy on their owner’s viewing habits to gather marketing data.

Conclusion

Smart TVs are a significant evolution in home entertainment, offering many media options from a single convenient package. For those who are into the latest high-tech gadgets and who might already own set-top boxes, game consoles and other devices, a smart TV will help further expand their digital universe. On the other hand, others who want nothing more than to flip on a favorite channel would probably be happier with a simple television set.

Image credit: Remote control on a table with a TV on the background by DepositPhotos

John Parsons

John Parsons is a freelance writer with many years in software development. He has a Physics degree and lives in Chicago with his wife and a zooful of animals.

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What You Need To Know About Usb Fingerprint Readers

Do you hate typing passwords each time you log in to a computer? If this describes you, it will be faster for you to use biometric login. And if your computer doesn’t come with one, you can use a USB fingerprint reader. This USB device is tiny, lightweight, and easy to carry. Being biometric, it offers an extra layer of security that ordinary passwords simply can’t.

To substantiate that, I can’t help but think of an interesting episode from Cobra Kai, the recent successor to The Karate Kid franchise. (The 30-year old rivalry between the two lead characters is exciting to watch.) In this scene, Robby, the truant son of Johnny Lawrence, steals a customer’s laptop. All he has to do is pose as a smug tech executive and ask for the password. After quietly walking away with the device, Robby’s gang quickly sells it on eBay while the gullible customer is relaxing at a Starbucks.

One has to wonder had this customer enabled fingerprint access on his laptop and knew how to remote wipe it, could it have at least protected him from data theft? Fortunately, it was just a television show, but tech repair scams like this are surprisingly common in the real world.

What Do USB Fingerprint Readers Do?

USB fingerprint readers work with any USB port or docking station to unlock a computer. They are expected to work as plug-and-play devices, which are readily compatible with Windows 7/8/10 systems. Kensington VeriMark and Benss Fingerprint Reader are two highly-rated USB fingerprint readers that do not require external drivers.

A few other desirable features of these devices include:

360-degree detection: you should be able to log in from any finger angle

Support for ten fingerprint IDs: if you are working with Windows Hello or other similar systems, you should be able to register all ten fingers.

Compatible with Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft ID: with a good USB fingerprint device such as Kensington VeriMark, you can not only access your computer but also several online services. In fact, these devices can serve as “tokens” to help you get rid of phone verification on Google.

To set up a USB fingerprint reader on Windows 7/8/10, you need to set up Windows Hello.

Who Does Not Need USB Fingerprint Reader?

If your computer came with a built-in fingerprint scanner, you do not need this gadget. You can check your device’s compatibility online for all known Windows 10 brands. You can simply set up the built-in scanner with Windows Hello.

Device Failing to Register?

One of the rare problems with USB fingerprint devices is that sometimes they may fail to read the user properly. This is definitely true for me, as I think some people experience this problem more often than others do. With wet or greasy fingers, you are likely to fail authentication more often.

However, the well-known brands mentioned here are very responsive to finger touch. Windows Hello also allows you to authenticate all ten fingers just in case one of them fails.

In Summary

Image Credit: Cobra Kai Season 1 episode 4

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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What Is A Chromebook? Everything You Need To Know

In the US, Chromebook has a 60% market share among students from kindergarten to the 12th grade. That’s quite a significant number, to begin with. Further, Google is bringing huge improvements to Chrome OS to make it a viable alternative against Windows and macOS. So if you are wondering what is a Chromebook exactly, well you have landed at the right place. In this article, we are taking a look at every aspect of Chromebooks beginning with its very definition. We have also discussed its operating system, headline features, the target users, whether you should switch from a Windows PC or not, and more. So having said all of that, let’s begin the article and learn more about Chromebooks thoroughly.

Everything You Need to Know About Chromebook and Chrome OS 1. A Brief History

Before learning about Chromebooks, we need to know what powers this machine and its history of development. Chrome OS is the operating system of Chromebooks which is developed by Google just like Windows is developed by Microsoft and macOS is developed by Apple. Chrome OS may seem like a new operating system in the realm of desktop computers, however, it is now almost a decade old. It was first announced in 2009 and the first commercial Chromebook was made available in 2011. It’s a Linux kernel-based operating system and primarily supports web applications rather than native apps. This is one of the reasons why Chromebooks are so fast and lightweight in comparison to other desktop computers.

During its conception in 2009, Chrome OS was touted to bring a new era of consumer computing where applications and user data will remain in the cloud. However lately, we are seeing that Chrome OS is slightly moving away from that. We will discuss all these aspects of Chromebooks and Chrome OS in detail below, but in simple words, we can say that Chromebook is a lightweight computer that holds a lot of promise for the general consumers.

2. What are the Best Chromebook Features?

Performance and Battery

Since the operating system is so lightweight, it does not require much horsepower. You can easily do a bunch of tasks like watching videos, writing documents, sending an email on an inexpensive Intel Core M3 processor (for comparison, M3 is ranked much below the Intel Core i3). At the same time, the battery life remains stellar and you can comfortably get two days of medium usage in a single charge. Generally, you don’t need a powerful processor on Chrome OS unless you are compiling thousands of lines of code or creating CAD renders in the browser. Simply put, if you are moving from a Windows PC to a Chromebook, be ready to be surprised on these two fronts at least.

Offline Support

Android Apps

In simple words, an Android subsystem is installed on your Chrome OS which allows you to access Android apps without much friction. Also, there is support for Google Assistant which is part of the core OS and not a mere add-on. So, it becomes much easier to search using voice commands throughout your Chromebook and the web.

Linux Support

Similar to Microsoft, Google is also bringing support for Linux on Chromebooks. The project is still in beta, but the results are quite promising. You can virtually run any Linux apps on Chrome OS and that is a huge development. In my testing, the Linux Terminal worked flawlessly and it took only 0.25 seconds to download the Google homepage through the curl command. If you compare it with a Windows laptop running the Linux Shell (almost the same config), it took 1.04 seconds which is 4x more than Chromebook’s download time. Other than that, I also installed GIMP through Linux on Chrome OS and it went through flawlessly. However, the performance was not up to the mark as it was running in a container. Nevertheless, Linux support on Chromebooks is a great step for bringing students and developers into the Chrome OS fold and I hope it improves over time.

Security and Updates

3. Chromebook vs Windows PC

If you are considering to move from a Windows PC to a Chromebook, this section will help you make the decision. First of all, the difference between both the operating system is mainly in its objective. While Chrome OS is for a specific set of users with limited use-case, Windows is a matured desktop OS with support for innumerable native applications for all kinds of users. Further, Windows is compatible with both native and web apps and enjoys massive developer support from all over the world. Not to mention, Windows OS has almost become the de-facto platform for gaming. Simply put, Windows is for everyone irrespective of whether you are an average or a professional user.

However, Chrome OS’s silver lining is that it’s great at delivering performance (even on a significantly slower processor) while maintaining stellar battery life. On both these counts, Windows does not match up with Chrome OS and that’s why Chromebooks have carved out a space for itself in the desktop market. Apart from that, you are not missing on the gaming front if you subscribe to Google’s game-streaming service Stadia. You can play desktop-class games on your Chromebook irrespective of the hardware and that is awesome. Not to mention, we are slowly seeing that Microsoft is following Google’s footsteps and decoupling Windows (e.g. Windows 10S, Windows 10X) to make it flexible and modular like Chrome OS.

All this indicates that both the operating systems have their shortcomings and the companies are trying to improve their platform. However, at this point, Chrome OS is still nowhere near Windows as a full-fledged, desktop-class OS.

The EOL Conundrum

Each Chromebook has a specific end-of-life (EOL) date which generally lasts for 5-6 years. It means that you will get updates and security patches directly from Google only within the EOL period. Also, keep in mind, the EOL period does not start when you buy the Chromebook, but it gets activated when the product is certified by Google, much before the actual release date by OEM.

In contrast, Windows update is not tied to specific computer models. As long as Microsoft continues to support an operating system, you will get the update no matter what. This is where Google’s policy on Chromebook updates gets murkier and it’s really disappointing. Basically, after the EOL, you will not get any security patches on your Chromebook making your computer vulnerable to security threats. And you can’t even install Windows on your Chromebook because the process is extremely complex and out of the way for any average user. So, if you are going to buy a Chromebook, make sure to check the EOL date.

4. Is Chromebook For You?

Having said that, if you have a dedicated use-case like graphic designing, CAD rendering or video editing, etc. which requires a powerful native application then Chromebook is not for you. It has a limited scope and Chromebook is broadly targeted at general users, students, and developers. If you are one of them, you can definitely pick a Chromebook without any hesitation.

Are You Getting a Chromebook?

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