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Monthly Archives: July 2022

Study of Sleep in Older Adults Suggests Nixing Naps, Striving for 7-9 hours a Night

Laura Williamson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Napping, as well as sleeping too much or too little or having poor sleep patterns, appears to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease in older adults, new research shows.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, adds to a growing body of evidence supporting sleep’s importance to good health. The American Heart Association recently added sleep duration to its checklist of health and lifestyle factors for cardiovascular health, known as Life’s Essential 8. It says adults should average seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

“Good sleep behavior is essential to preserve cardiovascular health in middle-aged and older adults,” said lead author Weili Xu, a senior researcher at the Aging Research Center in the department of neurobiology, care sciences and society at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. “We encourage people to keep nighttime sleeping between seven to nine hours and to avoid frequent or excessive napping.”

Prior research has shown poor sleep may put people at higher risk for a range of chronic illnesses and conditions affecting heart and brain health. These include cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 35% of U.S. adults say they get less than seven hours of sleep, while 3.6% say they get 10 or more hours.

Previous sleep duration studies show that sleeping too much or too little both may raise the risk for cardiovascular disease. But whether napping is good or bad has been unclear.

In the new study, researchers analyzed sleep patterns for 12,268 adults in the Swedish Twin Registry. Participants were an average of 70 years old at the start of the study, with no history of major cardiovascular events.

A questionnaire was used to collect data on nighttime sleep duration; daytime napping; daytime sleepiness; the degree to which they considered themselves a night person or morning person, based on the time of day they considered themselves most alert; and symptoms of sleep disorders, such as snoring and insomnia. Participants were followed for up to 18 years to track whether they developed any major cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke.

People who reported sleeping between seven and nine hours each night were least likely to develop cardiovascular disease, a finding in keeping with prior research. Compared with that group, those who reported less than seven hours were 14% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and those who reported more than 10 hours were 10% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Compared with people who said they never napped, those who reported napping up to 30 minutes were 11% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. The risk increased by 23% if naps lasted longer than 30 minutes. Overall, those who reported poor sleep patterns or other sleep issues – including insomnia, heavy snoring, getting too much or too little sleep, frequent daytime sleepiness and considering themselves a night person – had a 22% higher risk

Study participants who reported less than seven hours of sleep at night and napping more than 30 minutes each day had the highest risk for cardiovascular disease – 47% higher than those reporting the optimal amount of sleep and no naps.

The jury is still out on whether naps affect cardiovascular risk across the lifespan, said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, center director for the Sleep Center of Excellence and an associate professor at Columbia University in New York City. She noted that the new research, which she was not involved in, was restricted to older adults.

Rather than trying to recoup sleep time by napping, people should try to develop healthier sleep habits that allow them to get an optimal amount of sleep at night, St-Onge said. This includes making sure the sleep environment is not too hot or cold or too noisy. Reducing exposure to bright light before going to sleep, not eating too late at night, getting enough exercise during the day and eating a healthful diet also help.

“Even if sleep is lost during the night, excessive napping is not suggested during the day,” Xu said. And, if people have persistent trouble getting enough sleep, they should consult a health care professional to figure out why, she said.

Source: American Heart Association

Chuckles of the Day

Kindergarten Boots

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping Jason Robert, one of her kindergarten students put on his boots?

He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost whimpered when Jason Robert said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked and sure enough, they were.

It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on.

She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.”

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Jason, why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to.

Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off.

He then said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them today.”

She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

She said, “Now, where are your mittens Jason?”

Jason Robert said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots…”

Her trial starts next week . . .

* * * * * * *

Too Much TV for Children

Isn’t it amazing what a child, a toddler, or a kindergartner or first grader will say? They learn from imitating and repeating from what hear from their parents, siblings, friends, and yes, television. TV is a wonderful teacher. Sometimes. Sometimes NOT !

Waiting tables at the local Dew Drop Inn Café, we have a regular breakfast crowd. And from time to time we see new faces.

This morning a little boy and his mother came in for breakfast.

“Can I get you some coffee ma’am?”

“Yes, please, with sweetener.”

“And what would you like to eat this morning young man?”

“Tommy, please tell this nice lady what you want to eat for breakfast this morning?”

“Yes, mommy. I WISH TO DEVOUR THE UNBORN!” Tommy announced boisterously.

His mother was very taken back and embarrassed. “Tommy!”

Quietly and with hesitation she looked up at me.

“Eggs. He would like some eggs for breakfast.”

Chart: HKMA Bought a Total of HK$174.561 billion Since May 12, 2022

When US$ touched HK$7.85 upper limit

Updated on 7/29/22


Updated on 7/24/22

Source : HKET

Source : Trading Economics and Ming Pao

Infographic: The 20 Countries With the Fastest Declining Populations

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Chart: Where Central Banks Have Issued Digital Currencies

Source : Statista

Can You Totally Avoid Catching COVID? These “NOVIDs” Share Their Secrets.

Hannah Docter-Loeb and Emma Wallenbrock wrote . . . . . . . . .

Well over half the U.S. population had caught COVID by February 2022. That majority has only gotten bigger in the months since as contagious, immune-system-evading variants continue to circulate.

Yet, despite COVID’s pervasiveness, there are some people who have managed to avoid it—the “NOVIDs.” We know because their number includes some of our colleagues. We found other people via social media who claim to have avoided infection with the virus to the best of their knowledge. Many of the people whom we spoke to had one thing in common: the ability to work from home. They also tended to be cautious, though many also do plenty of socializing.

While there’s some—or a lot—of plain and simple chance involved in staying negative, those who have done so offer us a look at what it takes to remain uninfected (for now), as the pandemic wears on.

* * * * * * *

I have a fairly weak immune system since I live with a chronic illness (imagine the sickly kid who missed a lot of school, catches every cold), so I have been cautious from the start.

My mask is on any time I go into a store, ride public transportation, or am generally indoors with strangers. I eat at restaurants or go to bars if there is an outdoor space or decent ventilation, like big open windows or those garage-style doors some places have, but I skip places that don’t fit that criteria. I have visited a few friends’ homes, usually to spend time outside.

I think a lot about the variables of where I am going and who else is going to be there, and then make decisions. In 2021, I went to Disney World. Disney was limiting capacity to 30 percent and using its serious hospitality skills to enforce masking, but I drove down from Brooklyn because there wasn’t any vaccination requirement to fly. Months later, I felt comfortable flying to the U.K. because everyone had to have tested negative within 72 hours to be on the flight.

I did have one morning where I woke up convinced that I had finally caught COVID. It was Jan. 2 and I was still feeling terrible after partying too hard (outdoors) in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve. Turned out I was just hungover, dehydrated, and too old to party that hard anymore. — Daisy Rosario, senior supervising producer, Slate

* * * * * * *

The main reason I think I have avoided it is relative physical isolation. I live alone and I was 100 percent at home for the first 18 months [of the pandemic], then the 10 months or so since then have been at about 80 percent at home, so my physical proximity to people has been limited. Until a few months ago I would be masked whenever in a public building, but now I only do so in medical settings. I was vaccinated from around March 2021 and have since had a second jab and booster. I think I am probably due for another booster anytime now.

I have had a few close calls. Each time I have taken a test to check and it has come back negative. A couple of times I have taken PCR tests at the local testing center, but more often I took the lateral flow tests that were given out for free by the NHS and took these before going to places where I might be in contact with others. I feel fortunate to have avoided this so far, but the isolation and uncertainty over the past few years have certainly taken a negative toll on my mental health. — Charles Ward, from Hemel Hempstead, England (as told to Emma Wallenbrock)

* * * * * * *

As a college student, it feels almost inevitable that you’ll catch COVID-19. Think 300-person lecture halls peppered with fits of coughing. Think poorly ventilated parties with suffocating peer pressure to unmask. And think about the countless casual interactions—in the dining hall, library, or gym—where you might reasonably forget to keep your guard up. I can’t think of a single close friend who hasn’t caught the virus. But I’ve somehow managed to slip through the cracks, probably because of my “responsible dumb luck.”

I try to be careful. I’m double-vaccinated and boosted. I almost always mask up indoors. I avoid large group settings as best I can. But I’ve also had so many close calls that I wonder when my luck will finally run out. My college roommate tested positive for COVID the day after I moved out. A close friend stayed at my house for two days, and we ate indoors at a restaurant, drove in the same car, and watched a movie together. He tested positive on day three. A girl I chatted with for four hours on a date texted me a few days later that she was positive. And these are just the close calls that I’m aware of! —Simar Bajaj, from Fremont, California (as told to Emma Wallenbrock)

* * * * * * *

We live in an affluent suburb of D.C., a very expensive neighborhood, but we live here comfortably by virtue of my father’s post as a bureaucrat at the Pentagon since the early ’80s, when housing prices were much more reasonable. There is ample outdoor space, public parks, and quiet tree-lined streets. I’ve always just accidentally had very good mental health and the ability to be content with a small social circle. We took the pandemic seriously from the beginning and all our friends did the same. We updated our behaviors when public health guidance changed.

With all these privileges, the pandemic has felt like a bit of a blessing. I work at a progressive company with excellent benefits and the ability to work remotely productively, even more productively than at the office. I now have more time to spend by myself and with my family and greater autonomy in how I do my work. —Jonathan Zuckerman, website developer, Slate

I do COVID research for a living. I still take COVID very seriously because I see the impact of it. My stance now is that if people want to take on personal risks, that’s their choice to make but they have an obligation not to pass their infections on to other people. I still wear a high-grade mask when I’m in grocery stores or the post office—community spaces where people have to be and are at high risks of COVID—to limit my risk to other people. I will go to restaurants or the occasional bar, depending on how I’m feeling or if I have events coming up that I want to make sure I’m negative for. I’ve definitely put myself in situations where I could have been exposed to COVID and as far as I’m aware I haven’t gotten it yet. I have volunteered for a lot of studies that look at antibody levels, and no one has seen any unexplained spikes in my antibody levels that could have been explained by an infection that wasn’t detected.

I definitely feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. When we have these huge waves of COVID, I always tell people, “You’re not guaranteed to get it in this wave, but in our lifetime I think everyone will very likely get COVID unless we make drastic changes about transmission.” I feel like it is inevitable but I try to be really conscientious of it. I won’t risk passing it on to other people should I get infected.

The joke that I and other people who work in health care make is that, being in the hospitals all the time before vaccines were available, we were “microdosing COVID.” If I have had a COVID infection, it’s never manifested as symptoms or a positive test.

I think, having worked on so many COVID-related studies, there is some aspect of COVID we’re yet to learn about that will explain situations like mine or those of other people who are befuddled as to why they haven’t gotten infected. I look forward to learning those things, but for now I’m going to keep operating the way I’ve been operating. — Laurel Bristow, from Atlanta (as told to Hannah Docter-Loeb)

* * * * * * *

I don’t do things anymore. I work from home, and I don’t go anywhere on a regular basis beyond the park and the grocery store. Since the start of the pandemic, I have been to a movie theater a total of two times. I occasionally go out to a restaurant but almost exclusively ask for outdoor seating. I wear a KN95 mask every time I step out of my apartment and diligently test myself before going anywhere where I’ll be around people outside of my household.

I’ve been lucky to evade catching COVID so far. I know for many people it isn’t that easy, whether they have a medical emergency, are raising children, or just don’t have the option to work remotely. Even so, I don’t feel lucky. Mostly, I feel tired. Seeing strangers at the grocery store without a mask, talking about their vacation plans, coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths (seriously, adults are doing this), it makes me feel like I’m spending all this energy for no reason.

But I’ve watched COVID ruin so many lives, including the lives of people I love. I know three people who are still dealing with long-term effects from COVID, one of whom has developed other chronic health conditions as a result. I also know plenty of people with unrelated health conditions that make getting COVID (and, for some of my friends, even getting vaccinated) especially risky. So I’d rather be this careful for the rest of my life than know I’m not doing my best to keep my community safe. — Shivani Ishwar, data and analytics designer, Slate

* * * * * * *

“The biggest change since COVID hit is how much smaller my life has gotten.” — Megan Chialastri

Even after my first round of COVID shots, I felt most comfortable in places that required proof of vaccination to enter, so my experience at many bars and restaurants was pretty limited. I switched to a more expensive gym that required vaccines. Over time, though, I’ve let my guard down further and further. Going to the movies is one of my favorite things in the world, and I’ve continued to do that with varying degrees of masking (because I love theater snacks). I just got back from a bus trip to NYC, where I saw three Broadway shows (and wore a mask in all theaters).

While I stay up on my vaccinations and mask up most of the time indoors, sometimes I forget, and my personal practices are only as good as the practices around me. Hardly anywhere requires vaccination anymore, so if I want to exist outside of my one-bedroom apartment, there’s inherently a risk.

The biggest change since COVID hit is how much smaller my life has gotten. Going out seems more exhausting. I get anxious in bigger crowds. I’ve had more of a tendency to keep to myself, which is possibly the reason I’ve stayed clear. — Megan Chialastri, from Philadelphia (as told to Emma Wallenbrock)

* * * * * * *

I’m retired, I’m in my late 60s, and my husband is 10 years older than me and is a cancer survivor. I’m living in a situation that’s of higher risk for somebody in my household. I’m also a retired nurse and have been pretty acutely aware of just how devastating this virus is from the very beginning. I myself had gallbladder surgery in my 50s and ended up with complications and in the ICU with severe lung impairment. I had a fear of any kind of severe respiratory illness. When COVID was exploding pre-vaccine, people were dying of severe lung injury. That set me up for being pretty paranoid about the possibility of contracting the virus.

We got vaccinated as soon as that option was available. I’ve masked from the beginning, and as we’ve learned more about the efficacies of different types of masks, I’ve gone from a variety of cloth masks to KN95s, and if I’m out at all in an indoor setting, I always wear a good N95 that is tight-fitting. I firmly believe that masking is your first line of protection.

But the strategies have primarily been social isolation. I’ve always had a tight circle of friends and we used to do carefree socializing, and we just don’t do that anymore. I have the ability at this point in my life to have my groceries delivered, to order in—I have enough financial security to make those things happen. I’m discouraged by our public health response and I think it’s unfortunate that people are forced into a self-protective mode. — Mary Herrick from Portland, Oregon (as told to Hannah Docter-Loeb)

* * * * * * *

I have no idea how my house (me, another adult, a 5-year-old) has avoided COVID. We’re up to date on our shots, but a lot of people who fit that description have had it! We live in a small college town located in a rural county and have not traveled much since the pandemic—none of us has gotten on an airplane. Neither of the adults in the family has a job that requires physical presence, and I think that might be the biggest factor here. However, the child has been back in preschool for about a year—sometimes masking, sometimes not, in accordance with the county’s reported transmission levels.

All in all, it seems like a crapshoot. I have thought so many times, “This is IT.” Somehow, it never has been. — Rebecca Onion, senior editor, Slate

* * * * * * *

The principles I lived by are all pretty much what we were told throughout: Wash your hands when you get home and all those other times. Don’t sweat outdoor transmission (I did wear my mask while biking around at first). I wear my mask indoors in every public space—grocery stores, bodegas, always on the subway. My one dicey exception was the gym, where enforcement was extremely lax once you were past the front desk, and then nonexistent from late summer ’20 onward except for one relapse in the bleak, bleak delta variant days. I’d skip the gym when infection rates went up and then would go back when they seemed to slow, weighing my deep moodiness that exercise could dispel against the possibility of getting sick. When I’d leave New York, I’d kind of watch for what people in L.A. or Colorado were doing (wearing masks less, as it was summer), so just living in a pretty well-masked place (masked up for good reasons—it’s crowded here) probably did most of it for me. I watched a lot of TV, saw people outside, let what I think constituted “my life” drain and then trickle back bit by bit. — Ben Richmond, senior director of operations for podcasts, Slate

* * * * * * *

I feel like we’re ducking and dodging it like Neo in The Matrix. My wife has become somewhat of a mask guru and knows how to find the highest-quality ones in bulk online. Our two kids (6 and 3) will wear them without argument. The general rule in our family at this point is to wear them indoors and in crowded spaces outdoors.

It hasn’t been perfect, though. We had some close calls, especially in 2021. We traveled as a family to places like Florida (to see my parents) and Hawaii (a nonrefundable trip purchased in 2019 that we had already rescheduled once) right before delta came raging in. My wife and I took a weekend trip to San Francisco just for a quick change of scenery and were back in the safe confines of our home before omicron exploded. And then there was the carnival of sinus and ear infections this spring that accosted our entire household and got so bad that we couldn’t believe it wasn’t COVID. (It wasn’t. The amount of rapid and PCR tests we took was insane.) My most recent trip was a solo weekend excursion to Las Vegas to provide moral support to my brother in the World Series of Poker. I figured if there was ever gonna be a place for it to finally happen, it would be there. Masks don’t exist in Vegas for the most part. I still wore mine. I PCR-tested a few days after returning home and was in the clear. — Derreck Johnson, designer, Slate

* * * * * * *

As far as I know, I’ve never had COVID, mostly because, at every turn, I’ve been both lucky and privileged. Lucky that I was a senior in high school in 2020 and never found myself a pawn in the politics of K–12 school reopening and masking policies. Privileged that the college I started at in September 2020 has kept up a mask mandate and a testing program of twice-weekly PCRs for all students. Lucky that I haven’t caught COVID from working my food service jobs. Privileged that I don’t have to rely on those jobs for my livelihood, that my parents work white-collar office jobs and have been able to work from home for two years.

I’ve been fairly conscientious too; I wear a mask in all public indoor spaces, including public transportation. When omicron hit I abandoned cloth masks for KN95s. And I just plain don’t get out much. But I know people who’ve been just as privileged and conscientious as me who’ve nevertheless gotten it. I’ve avoided it. It’s just plain, dumb luck. (Knock on wood.) — Anna Kraffmiller, from Waltham, Massachusetts, as told to Emma Wallenbrock

* * * * * * *

When I think about why I haven’t had COVID yet, I tend to bounce between three explanations. At the “self-congratulatory” side of the spectrum, I feel proud of myself: I have been cautious, and not getting sick is my reward. In the middle is “I’m just lucky.” Maybe some people are immune to COVID. And then at the other side of the scale is: I’m just really unpopular. Everyone else testing positive at the same time is a little bit like seeing a group of friends post photos to social media from a hangout you weren’t invited to.

All of this, of course, comes with a caveat: I haven’t had COVID so far as I know. I’ve been sick a couple of times in the pandemic — once I even lost my sense of smell. But I persistently tested negative, and other respiratory viruses can interfere with your ability to smell too.

But I suspect I’ll test positive the day this article is published.

Source : Slate

Chinese Carmakers Roll Out Electric Models Catering to Camping Craze

China’s electric-vehicle makers have discovered a new fan base: camping enthusiasts who’ve embraced the great outdoors in their own backyard as the nation’s strict Covid Zero measures make international travel off-limits.

Geely, the automaker whose parent controls Volvo Cars and Polestar, last week unveiled a new-energy pickup truck brand, called Radar. Its first model, a fully electric beast that can run more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) on a charge, should be available in the fourth quarter.

“Chinese car owners have added outdoors settings into their routine scenarios, apart from home and work,” said Ling Shiquan, Radar’s newly appointed CEO, adding that the pandemic has pushed people in China to focus on a more healthy lifestyle.

Draconian measures to stop the virus from spreading have kept huge swaths of the population, including millions of people in Shanghai, sealed inside their homes or workplaces for weeks or even months on end. People subject to multiple rounds of mass testing and unpredictable restrictions on cross-provincial travel have become anxious about long trips on public transport.

As a result, camping and other outdoors activities have suddenly become trendy in China, the world’s biggest EV market. Bookings for camping trips and related travel products like campsite tickets tripled for this year’s Labor Day holiday versus a year ago, according to data from travel booking platform Qunar.com. Online sales of canopies, outdoor coffee machines and paddleboards have also soared.

The latest model from Beijing-based Li Auto — a plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle that seats six and is designed for families — can discharge 3.5 kilowatts of power and comes with an optional built-in fridge. Rival Nio, which has long marketed itself as a premium carmaker catering to middle-class consumers, introduced an optional electric tow bar for its just-launched ES7, billing it as one of the first certified passenger vehicles in China able to tow a caravan or trailer.

“Electric vehicles have an advantage by nature to power up not only cars but other gadgets,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consultancy Autoforesight. “Without carrying a heavy power pack, you can easily charge a hotpot with your car battery.”

And unlike in the US, where there’s a mature camping market complete with well-established campsites, new-to-camping fans in China must rely more on the vehicle battery, Zhang said.

After missing the boat for karaoke aficionados in China, legacy global automakers might want to think about playing catch-up. Chinese manufacturers are already starting to sell branded camping merchandise like folding chairs and tents.

“Chinese customers right now are spoiled,” said Kevin Shen, co-founder and president of Li Auto. “If you don’t come here, understand the customer and design the product for the pickiest ones, I can’t imagine just replicating something and winning.”

Source : BNN Bloomberg

Music Video: Fire And Rain

Charts: China Car Export

Western Europe and Southeast Asia became the main destinations for China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) exports, accounting for nearly half of all cars sold overseas during the first six months this year, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

China exported 362,200 NEVs in the first half, more than double from the previous year, Cui Songshu, secretary general of the CPCA, said over the weekend citing customs data. Exports to Western European countries reached 122,700 autos, accounting 34% of total exports, while sales to Southeast Asia came to 58,400 units, or 16% of the total, Cui said.

Source : Bloomberg and Caixin

Read also

China’s Assault On European Electric Car Market Gathers Momentum . . . . .

Incognito Mode Isn’t As Incognito As You Might Think

Thorin Klosowski wrote . . . . . . . . .

You’ve seen the prompt: If you’re using a shared or public computer, use incognito mode. It gives you a sense of security knowing that whatever sites you visit or passwords you type won’t be saved to the device—like skulking around in an invisibility cloak. But of course, nothing you do online is invisible. Private browsing (aka incognito mode) is a great way to prevent your web browser from saving what you do. But to call it privacy-focused is a stretch, and while your browser or device doesn’t log your movements in its history and cookies, that doesn’t mean the sites you visit don’t clock your behavior. Despite its name, you’re not really incognito, and you may want to dial back your confidence in what these modes really do.

What is incognito mode?

Every browser seems to use a different name for this type of browsing. Chrome calls it Incognito, while Firefox and Safari call it Private Browsing, and Microsoft Edge calls it InPrivate. But they all essentially do the same thing: They forget everything you do when you use them. This means your browsing history isn’t saved, and nothing you do gets logged for autofill purposes.

It also means cookies aren’t saved. Cookies are an essential part of web browsing that, among other things, enable you to stay logged into a site. They also enable sites to store your shopping cart history or the times you’ve visited the site before, which helps the site choose whether or not to bother you with newsletter sign-up prompts or those cookie opt-out requests. Cookies have also long been an important part of the third-party advertising world.

What is incognito mode for?

Private browsing is great for low-stakes searches that you don’t want showing up in your browsing or search history. It’s useful if you’re borrowing someone else’s computer and don’t want your search saved, shopping for gifts on a shared computer, researching medical issues, or searching for something stupid you just don’t want someone else using your computer to stumble upon.

But there’s a false sense of how private these modes are, which can be problematic in cases where it’s crucial you remain truly private.

What is it not good for?

Browsing the internet leaves trails of data everywhere, and companies have built ways to track what you do regardless of cookies and browser history. Google was sued in 2020 for tracking people through its various services, even when people used an incognito tab. Files you download and bookmarks you create are typically saved on your computer during private sessions, and they are not wiped once you end your session. Your IP address, which reveals your general location and can be tied back to your device, may still be tracked on whatever site you visit. Device fingerprints, which collect seemingly innocuous details such as the type of computer you have, what browser you use, or the screen resolution on your computer, can be packaged together and used to track you. Your internet service provider can also see the sites you visit, and if you’re using the internet at work or school, those network administrators may have that same level of access.

And don’t forget: If you log in to any service (such as Facebook or Google) in a private browsing window, that session is no longer private, as the companies are able to match your habits to your registered account, giving them the same access to what you do online for the course of that browsing session. Any data you store on a third-party service during this session—files, photos, contact information, appointments, and more—can also potentially be accessed by the company hosting the data if you’re logged into an account.

The best way to think about private browsing modes is like this: Private or incognito browsing avoids leaving a history of what you do on your own devices. They’re useful, but mostly limited to removing the threat of someone with physical access to your computer seeing what you’ve been up to. Everything you do during that supposedly private browsing session may still be tracked by companies on the internet.

You can combat some of this tracking with browser extensions, but some browsers disable those extensions in private browsing modes. A trustworthy virtual private network can also provide a potential layer of privacy, though an untrustworthy one may still leak or monitor that data. It’s worth considering a browser that focuses more on privacy by default, like Firefox, Safari, or Brave, instead of Chrome or Microsoft Edge. And for searches, use a search engine like DuckDuckGo, Brave Search, or Startpage instead of Google or Bing. But know that even when you do everything as privately as possible, it’s unlikely that you’re truly anonymous. If you’re searching for information that is critical to keep private, use Tor Browser, which helps cloak your location, doesn’t save your history, and removes most tracking.

One privacy tip: Change your default search engine

Aside from being one of the most privacy-invasive products Google makes, Google Search also kind of sucks these days. Results are buried deep down on a page, various boxes of irrelevant or incorrect information fight for your attention, and every link seems to lead back to another Google product. It’s time to switch to something different.

Instead of Google, I prefer a more privacy-focused option like DuckDuckGo or Startpage, both of which give you results up top without confusing ads or Google-specific products. To make these easier to use, you should change the default search option so your browser uses your preferred search engine when you type a search into the URL bar:

  • Chrome: Click the three-dot icon > Settings and select the Search Engine tab.
  • Firefox: Click the three-line icon > Settings and select the Search tab.
  • Safari: Click Safari > Preference and click the Search tab.
  • Microsoft Edge: Click the three-dot icon > Settings > Privacy, search, and services > Address bar and search.

Source : Wirecutter