Step 3: Private Browsing

Find out which effects private browsing does or does not have on cookies, and how this might be useful.

Private Browsing Window in Firefox

In a normal Firefox window, open the Cookie Example page again. Convince yourself that the page has stored your name in a cookie.

Cookie Example

Private Browsing in Firefox

  1. Click on the three lines in the top right corner of your browser. From the drop down list select 'New Private Window'.
  2. Open the Cookie Example page in the private window you have just opened. You should be prompted for your name again.
  3. Now reload the page. What happens?
  4. Close the private window and open a new private window, as described in step 1. Then once again open the Cookie Example page. You should be prompted for your name.

Cookies in Private Browsing

You can see that cookies are still stored on your computer temporarily even in private browsing. However, they are deleted once you close the private window, and they are entirely separate from the cookies stored in normal browsing.

If you want to find out more about what private browsing does and does not do, you can check the Firefox help pages.

Firefox Help: Private Browsing

Firefox Help: Common Myths about Private Browsing

Questions to think about

  • Considering what you have learnt in this class - why does private browsing not disable cookies altogether?

Going further

If you feel confident about what you have learned so far, there is one more advanced part to this class. In this final step we will see how websites can include resources from other websites, and think about why this might be problematic with regard to cookies. This prepares you for another class in this series about tracking and third-party cookies.

Third-party cookies