How to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome

Browser extensions are amazing; they allow you to leverage the features of an already powerful app (the browser) and build more features on top of them. They do come with a downside; security risks. A browser extension has access to information that passes through your browser which is why by default, Chrome doesn’t let you run extensions in Incognito mode.

Chrome’s aversion to allowing extensions to run in Incognito mode also has to do with the fact that Incognito mode is supposed to be a private browsing mode where none of your activity is ever saved by the browser. Extensions often contradict that in order to do what they do. That said, it isn’t impossible to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome. The option is built-in and must be enabled on a per-extension basis.

Extensions in Incognito mode

Remember the extensions are installed separately for each profile so open the profile that you use for browsing in Incognito. Open a normal browsing session and click the more options button at the top right.

From the menu, go to More tools>Extensions.

On the Chrome Extensions page, look for the extension that you want to use in Incognito mode, and click the Details button under it.

On the Details page for the extension, scroll down to the Allow in Incognito mode section. Every extension’s details’ page will have this section. The section has a switch which, when turned on, will allow the extension to run in Incognito mode.

Open an Incognito window in the same profile and you will be able to use the extension.

Remember that some extensions may not work correctly since Incognito mode has limitations. If an extension relies on your browsing history to work, it likely will not work. It may be allowed to run in Incognito mode but it cannot force the browser to start storing your history.

When you enable extensions to run in Incognito mode, be careful. If an extension stores information, even it if stores it locally, anyone using the normal browsing window will be able to access it. Extensions do not make a distinction between normal and incognito modes when they store data.

If you only need to use an extension in Incognito mode for a brief period of time, don’t leave it enabled after you’re done working. Disable it again so that it doesn’t compromise your security.

If you want to prevent all extensions from ever being run in Incognito mode, there’s no way to do that. What you can do instead is disable Incognito mode in Chrome.

Read How to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to view recent file versions on Google Docs

Google Drive can keep multiple versions of the same file. The version management on Google Drive is pretty clever and flexible. Google Docs has similar version control for the documents that you create in it. Given that Google Docs is a collaboration tool, file versions are all the more important. Here’s how you can view recent file versions on Google Docs. This works for Google Sheets and Google Slides as well.

File versions on Google Docs

Open the Google Docs file that you want to view older versions of. Go to File>Version History>See version history. You can also use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H keyboard shortcut to open the version history for a file.

The version history opens in a panel on the right. By default, the versions are named by the date they were last edited on. You can select the version you want to view. By default, the changes made between the last and the most recent version will be highlighted.

Google Docs saves a version of a file each time you stop editing it and close it. If you’re collaborating on a file with other people, and they continue to edit it even though you’re not working on it, Google Docs will not save it as a separate version until everyone else stops working on it.

To make the versions easier to manage, you can name them. To name a file version, open it in Google Docs and go to File>Version History>Name current version. This option lets you name the current version only. To name older versions, open the version history panel, and click the more options button next to a version of the document. From the menu, select Name this version and give it a name.

You can also make a copy of the version and save it to your Google Drive.

Limitations

We should mention that file versions on Google Docs are available only for documents that were edited in Google Docs. You can upload and open Word and Pages files in Google Docs however, when these files are imported into Google Docs, no history of the recent edits made to the file will be imported. It doesn’t matter if you uploaded several versions of the file to Google Drive and then opened it in Google Docs. As far as Google Docs is concerned, it only has access to the current version, and all subsequent edits that you made to the file from inside the app itself.

Read How to view recent file versions on Google Docs by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to manage file versions on Google Drive

Google Drive, like other cloud services, maintains different versions of files. We explained how you can access older file versions on OneDrive a while back. Google Drive’s file version control is exponentially better than that of OneDrive though. It not only lets you upload different versions of a file, but also gives you an easy way to manage them. Here’s how you can mange file versions on Google Drive.

Identify File Versions

Google Drive identifies file version as files that have the same name and same file extension and that have been uploaded to the same location. This means that if you try to upload a text file called Text File to the root of your Google Drive and then immediately upload another text file with the same name (Text File) to the root of your Google Drive, it will be identified as another version of the file you uploaded earlier. Google Drive will not examine the contents of the file to see if it’s actually similar to the previous file.

Manage File Versions

Visit Google Drive and go to the folder that you want to upload a file, or version of a file to. Upload the original, or the first version of the file like you would upload any other file.

Same file name

If you’re updating a file but not saving it with different names i.e., different versions of the file have the same name, you can upload the subsequent versions of the file like you would any other file. When Google Drive detects the same file name and type being uploaded to the same folder, it uploads it as a second, newer version of the current file and it gives you the option to save it as a separate file.

If you choose to save it as a separate file rather than a second version of the file already in your drive, Google Drive will add a number at the end of the file name.

Different file name

You want to first upload the first version of the file. To add a second version of the file that has a different file name, right-click the original file in Google Drive and select Manage Versions from the context menu. This will open the file version manager.

Here, you will see an Upload New Version button. Click it and select the file that is a second/newer version of the original file.

When you upload the second version, the original file’s name will not be updated to that of the second version. It will retain its original name however, when you open the file, you will see the latest version of it.

Regardless of how you named the files and uploaded various versions of it, Google Drive will always open the most recent version of a file when you double-click it. As for accessing older versions, you can download them from the version manager but you cannot open then directly in Google Drive.

Read How to manage file versions on Google Drive by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to hide accept cookies messages from websites

Last year, a new law forced websites to be more up front about how they store and use your data. The law is great but the accept cookies messages get annoying after a while and to be perfectly honest, not many people are reading them. Some websites will show you the accept cookies message no matter how many times you visit. The message only goes away if you sign in to the website and accepting or dismissing the message isn’t enough. If you’re tired of the seeing the accept cookies messages, you can install an add-on or an extension called¬†I don’t care about cookies and hide them all.

Hide all accept cookie messages

The I don’t care about cookies add-on/extension is available for both Firefox and Chrome. Once you’ve installed the add-on/extension, you won’t see any more messages asking you to accept cookies.

You should know that this add-on/extension will not automatically accept cookies for you. It’s only hiding the messages. This means that if you’re visiting a website that needs to save cookies, it won’t work as intended unless you accept the cookies.

The add-on/extension does have a whitelisting option so you can use that when you need to accept cookies from a website. To whitelist a website, click the add-on/extension’s icon next to the URL bar and from the context menu, select the ‘Disable extension on website’ option. You may need to reload the website to execute the change so if you’re in the middle of something like filling out a form, do what you can to save your progress.

To add websites enmasse to the add-on/extension’s whitelist, click it and select Options from the context menu. This will open the whitelist that you can add domains to. Enter one domain per-line and click the Save Settings button at the bottom.

In case you want to use this add-on/extension in incognito mode for Chrome you will need to enable it from the extensions’ page in Chrome. By default, Chrome doesn’t allow extensions to run in a private browsing window. Firefox on the other hand will allow all add-ons to run in private browsing mode.

If you’re using a browser other than Firefox or Chrome, and you want to hide the accept cookies messages, you can try using an ad blocking extension that can also block certain elements on websites. It’s a long shot but it might work if you find an extension that is sophisticated enough to do the job.

Read How to hide accept cookies messages from websites by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check if you were affected by the Facebook photo bug

If Facebook is still around in ten years, it is possible that the company¬† will gloss over 2018 when writing its own history. This has not been a good year for Facebook in any sense of the word and that’s not even because profits were down somewhat. Facebook’s reputation has taken several hits after its poor practices with respect to user privacy came to light on several occasions. It prompted many users to want to delete Facebook. Despite all that, the company still saw fit to launch its video chat device Portal. Things seem to keep getting worse with the recent Facebook photo bug that exposed users’ photos to apps.

Check Facebook photo bug

Facebook recently had to disclose (read: admit before someone else told on them), that a bug caused photos to become visble to third-party apps. These photos are photos that normally these apps weren’t allowed to access. Specifically, the photos that your shared to your Facebook story were exposed. Facebook stories expire after 24 hours and per this bug, the apps that had access to them were able to keep the photos past that period. If you’re wondering whether your photos were exposed, you can check here.

If your photos were indeed exposed, the page will tell you what to do though, the page isn’t very encouraging for users who weren’t exposed to the bug. The page says it is ‘Instructing developers to delete the photos’, which is nice but what’s to say the developers will actually delete them or not take any back up before deleting them?

The bug is only two weeks old but it is concerning nevertheless. Facebook stories aren’t exactly a popular feature but that doesn’t mean people don’t use it. The fact that it’s not very popular is the only reason the number of affected users is comparatively small.

As with any security breach involving Facebook, it’s a good idea to review which apps have access to your Facebook account, and what information they have access to. The year is almost over so if nothing else, add this to your end-of-year social media cleaning and remove all apps you don’t use or apps that seem to need more information than is necessary.

Our Facebook ID has become a default sign in option for loads of apps and services. This was a good thing until Facebook began to exploit it. It might be time to go back to signing up for services and creating actual accounts for apps instead of clicking the ‘Sign up using Facebook’ option.

Read How to check if you were affected by the Facebook photo bug by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter