Does Covenant Eyes monitor Incognito Mode/Private Browsing?

Internet browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) offer browsing without saving browsing history. This feature has different names depending on which browser you use.

  • Chrome = Incognito Mode
  • Firefox = Private Browsing
  • Internet Explorer = InPrivate Browsing
  • Microsoft Edge = InPrivate Window

This privacy feature disables the browsing history and web cache (URLs saved at the browser level). The browser will not record history while the user has enabled Private Browsing. (We will call it Private Browsing for the rest of this article.)

Can Covenant Eyes still see activity with Private Browsing enabled?

Covenant Eyes is able to see Internet activity within Private Browsing. We do not rely on access to browsing history to provide accurate Reports.

How is activity reported?

When Private Browsing is enabled, it can disable the Covenant Eyes extension. The extension’s job is to label a URL as a Viewed Page, Secondary Content, or Web Content. Without the extension enabled, all browsing activity will appear on the Report as Web Content. Web Content may refer to background URLs for items on a page such as images, ads, etc. The activity will still be rated accurately.  Accountability Partners should investigate all Web Content, specifically highly rated Web Content.

Covenant Eyes does not alert Accountability Partners when Private Browsing was enabled.

Does Web Content always mean that Private Browsing was enabled?

No, even with the Covenant Eyes extension enabled, we still report some Web Content. The Covenant Eyes extension tries to detect every URL a browser loads, and label the URL as either Viewed page, Secondary Content, or Web Content. But sometimes URLs load too quickly for our extension to label the URL properly. When this happens, the extension labels the URL as Web Content. This is why open and honest communication is necessary between the User and Accountability Partner.

Can someone help me understand Web Content?

Accountability Partners can submit a Report question to the Ratings Team for help understanding Web Content entries.

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