Certain mobile applications (apps) and especially social media apps collect usage data to
optimize and personalize their user experience. One way they do this is by using an in-app
browser when you click on links.
What is In-App Browsing?
When you click on a link inside of an application like Instagram or Tik Tok, one of two things
1. The link will open in your phone's web browser.
2. The link will open in the app you are using which is called an in-app browser.
Why In-App Browsing?
In-App Browsing allows the application to continue to track your button clicks, data, and even
username and passwords. This is not just a possibility, but in fact has happened for years. These
applications use sophisticated algorithms to serve you personalized content and advertisements.
How do I know if I'm In-App Browsing?
While there is no way to tell ahead of time if the link you click on in an app will take you to an
in-app browser or to your phone browser, indications of in-app browsing are that the screen
produces an "X" in the top left to close the screen and return to the application, and the URL on
the screen can't be changed.
What can be done?
Most apps allow you to switch to Safari or the default browser on your device if you open a website using the in-app browser.
The process varies by app, but if you find yourself on a website while using an app, try to find three dots or a Settings button.
Tap that button to open a Settings menu. One of the options may be "Open in Browser."
If you don't see any Settings menu options, simply copy and paste the URL from the browser's address bar into your chosen browser.