Google Chrome for Android includes a feature called incognito mode. This feature, when I activate it, is designed to help prevent Chrome from automatically remembering and storing information about which websites I've visited in the past.
To help protect myself, I've installed the free version of Qustodio (a Web filtering/monitoring app) on my Android device. Unfortunately, as soon as the user enters incognito mode, Qustodio for Android stops working.
What are my options? Well:
I could try upgrading to Android 6 or higher, or to CyanogenMod 13 or higher, or could buy a device that ships with one of these OSes preinstalled. A support knowledge base article on the Qustodio website claims that, on these operating systems, Qustodio works fine even when incognito mode is active. But I suspect that this claim may be inaccurate. I don't know for sure. Please leave a comment below.
I could do the following procedure:
- Install the free version of NetAddictSoft plus the Brehm browser. Mr. Brehm's claims aren't all correct; in truth, there's an easy way to clear the Brehm browser's history. But the free version of NetAddictSoft claims to be able to monitor all use of the Brehm browser and email out weekly usage reports. (Note that, on most devices, NetAddictSoft can only monitor usage of the Brehm browser, and cannot monitor usage of Chrome or Firefox or any other browser.)
- Configure Smart App Lock or similar to prevent the use of other browsers. (Note: Smart App Lock isn't perfect, and it's possible to defeat it.)
I might do the above procedure, but: My device has an old Android version installed. For me to upgrade to a newer Android version, I'd have to switch to a third-party ROM, and this would be a hassle.
I could spend money on a more-powerful filter, such as NetSpark or GenTech. But I'd rather not spend any money.
I could contact Qustodio's support team and send in a bug report. But I hear they can't really help. The feature is experimental. (Source.) And it's been experimental for years now. It's not really fully supported.
I could uninstall Qustodio, could install Norton Family, and could try Norton Family's incognito-detection feature. But I don't want to bother doing that either.
I could look into why Qustodio doesn't work when incognito mode is active, then file a feature request with Google to ask them to fix the problem.
I could sell my phone and buy an iPhone or iPad. They include built-in Web filtering. I don't know whether or not it's any good.
I could sell my phone and switch to a phone without built-in Wi-Fi. Perhaps a Palm Treo or Centro or an old BlackBerry.
But I don't want to choose any of the above options.
On desktop OSes, I already know that it's possible to disable Google Chrome's incognito mode. But I also use Android. How can I disable Google Chrome's incognito mode on my Android device?
Please assume the following:
I always run the latest version of Android.
My device is owned and controlled by me. It is not administered by a Google Apps domain administrator at my workplace or my school. And so I cannot use the Google Apps admin console to disable incognito mode. (I also don't want to pay a fee in order to sign up for Google Apps for Work.)
I am willing to root my device.
(Note to readers: Please remember that, even if you disable Google Chrome's incognito mode, there are other ways for device users to browse the Web without leaving any tracks.)
I thank Android.SE user Lucky for inspiring this question.