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
  • Safari = Private Browsing
  • Internet Explorer = InPrivate Browsing
  • Microsoft Edge = InPrivate Window

This privacy feature disables the browser from saving internet history. This means 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. Covenant Eyes does not rely on access to browsing history to provide 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. The activity will still be rated accurately.  Accountability Partners should investigate all Web Content, specifically highly rated Web Content.

Does Covenant Eyes notify the Accountability Partner(s) when Private Browsing was used?

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

How does Screen Accountability work with Private Browsing on Android?

This section refers to a new image-based monitoring feature, which is in early testing.

Some browsers on Android devices hide your activity in an attempt to help you maintain your privacy.

When you signed up for Covenant Eyes, you asked us to share all your device activity with your Accountability Partner. When we detect that you are using private or incognito mode, we include that information on your Accountability Report. Unfortunately, we can’t see what happens in some of these browsers, which means we’re unable to do the job you hired us to do.

To avoid this situation, we recommend using standard web browsers and apps on your device, such as Google Chrome or the Samsung Browser. For the best accountability experience, do not use “private” or “incognito modes” in those browsers or apps.

We recommend completely avoiding private browsers, such as Phantom or Private Browser.