Cover Your Tracks Online

If you're worried about someone knowing you have visited this website or if you’re worried about protecting your privacy when using the internet or e-mail services please read the following advice. However, please note the information provided below is for guidance only and may not completely cover your tracks.

The safest way to use the internet privately is to do it in a safe place. This could be at a local library, a friend’s house or at work. However, remember when using a public computer to always log out of Web sites by clicking "log out" on the site. It's not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another address.

Many programs (especially Web mail and instant messenger programs) include automatic login features that will save your user name and password. Disable this option before logging in so no one can log in as you.

 

Your website history, cache file and cookies

As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images and graphics from websites visited, words entered into search engines and a trail ('history') that reveals the sites you have visited. This is usually so the next time you visit the same website the pages will download faster.

This means that other people can find out which websites you have visited by looking through your computer’s history or cache file. You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser’s settings. However, you need to be aware that there is a risk involved in removing data from your computer. If other people use the same computer, if you delete the cookies or delete the browsing history it is likely that they will notice, for instance they may have saved a password for a particular social networking website which will now no longer work if the cookies have been deleted.

 

Which browser are you using?

If you do not know the type of browser you are using, there is a simple way to find out. At the top of the browser window click on “Help”. A drop down menu will appear and will include an entry “About Internet Explorer” or “About Firefox”.  If you click on this option a window will open which will provide you with details of the browser you are using and the version number.

 

How to delete the browser history and cache

Internet Explorer 6

Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options.

On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK.

Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labeled Delete all offline content and click OK.

Under History, click on Clear History and then OK.

Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.

 

Internet Explorer 7

Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options. 

In the General page under Browser History, select the Delete button.

Now either select and delete each section listed, choosing from : Temporary internet files; Cookies, History; Forms data and Passwords; or select the Delete all button at the bottom to clear everything.

 

Internet Explorer 8

For users of Internet Explorer 8 or Windows 7, details can be found on the Microsoft website here

 

Firefox 1 

Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy.

Click on the Clear button next to History; Saved Form Information; Cookies and Cache.



Firefox 2

Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy. 

At private data select settings, ensure that all boxes have been selected and then click on Clear Now

 

Firefox 3

Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy.

Now select from the option to clear your recent history or remove individual cookies.

 

Netscape 7

Click on the Edit menu and select Preferences. 

In the left pane, expand History then in the right area click Clear History. 

Next, expand Privacy and Security and select Cookies then on the button Manage Stored Cookies and in the new dialog box click Remove All Cookies. 

Then repeat similar for Forms and the Manage Stored Form Data button and the same for Passwords and the Manage Stored Passwords button. 

Additionally, you may Manage Forms, Cookies and Passwords individually from the Tools menu - but not the temporary page Cache files.

 

Opera

Click on Tools and then Preferences.

Click on the Advanced tab and then the History section on the left-hand side.

Click the Clear button to the right of Addresses and the Empty Now button to the right of Disk cache.  Opera does not have an easy way to clear all Cookies.

 

Google Chrome

Click the tool wrench icon in the upper-right corner of the toolbar and from the dropdown menu select “Clear Browsing Data”.

Use the checkboxes to select the data you wish to clear. By using the “Clear data from this period” option you can specify the period for which you want the data cleared.

Finally click the “Clear Browsing Data” button.

 

Safari (often used on Apple Macs)

Resetting Safari clears the history, empties the cache, clears the Downloads window, and removes all cookies. It also removes any saved user names and passwords or other AutoFill data and clears Google/Yahoo search entries. 

To do this go to the Safari menu at top left hand screen. Choose Reset Safari, and click Reset.

Provide feedback on this page