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As the weather took a turn for the worst, I found myself dreaming of a holiday in the sun. Where better than Tenerife for a winter beach break?
Incognito browsers can be used in Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari and allow users to serve the web without the browser remembering their activity.
If you’re looking at booking a holiday and keep checking the flight prices over the week, experts say the price could start rising as the company can see there is high demand.
According to some travel experts, using an incognito browser could help Britons get a cheaper flight.
I wanted to see whether I could get a cheaper price for my flight to Tenerife if I searched using incognito mode on my Google Chrome browser.
I was looking to book a week’s holiday in Tenerife, leaving London on February 4 and returning on February 11.
I first looked at the flights on January 16 and found a return flight with Ryanair for just £69 on Skyscanner and £74 on Google Flights.
After checking the same flights on an incognito browser, I got exactly the same results. Most Britons tend to think about a holiday for a few days before booking and I was no exception.
I looked at the flights again on January 17 and found it for £74 on Skyscanner and £76 on Google Flights, with exactly the same results on incognito.
On the last day I checked, January 19, the Skyscanner flights had risen to £81 while the Google Flights option was £84.
By this point, I was getting a few adverts for Tenerife hotels through my browser so I knew it had tracked my interest.
However, when I checked the flights using incognito mode, I was disappointed to find the prices were exactly the same as on my regular browser.
So why hadn’t I managed to save any money on my Tenerife break by going incognito?
Matthew Gribben, a cyber security expert, told me: “Using an incognito browser may not be as private as people would like to think.
“Incognito mode is ultimately designed to prevent the browser from saving browsing history, cookies, and search information, but it doesn’t actually provide true anonymity. Websites have a lot of technology at their disposal to track user behaviour and ‘conversion tracking’ i.e. tracking when you do and don’t make a purchase.
“Your browser, even whilst in incognito mode leaks vast amounts of data, sometimes called signals, that when combined form a fingerprint that is almost as unique as your actual fingerprint. This is data like your screen size/resolution, installed fonts, browser version number and more.
“This, when combined with data science techniques and machine learning, is ultimately more than enough to continue tracking your average user whilst they are using their browser’s privacy mode.
“Additionally if you’re searching for flights, for example, your search parameters are often quite specific, i.e. you’re starting at a particular airport, looking for a particular date range and going to a specific destination.”
Nick Boyle, SEO director at digital marketing lab, The Audit Lab, added: “What could have an impact on your rates is what some people may refer to as ‘fluid pricing’.
“If the site you’re browsing on uses this, then the price will fluctuate based on interest levels, how soon you wish to travel, and other factors. This still occurs when browsing in incognito mode.”
So it looks like I won’t be saving any money on my Tenerife flights by using incognito mode on my browser.
However, it could definitely pay to book your flights as soon as possible, as each flight option rose by at least £10 over the three days I was searching.
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