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Cover my tracks

If you have concerns that someone is checking your search history, or that they might find out what you have looked at online, please read our guidance on how to keep this information private to just you.

The easiest way to ensure your browser history is kept private is to use a public computer, such as in a library, at work or at a family or friends house.

If you do use your own computer and your abuser also has access to this computer, please read below information on how to delete your browser history.   Also, be aware that you can set up your home computer or tablet to have a password so only you can view your information.

All internet browsers will save  information as you use the internet.  This includes but is no limited to; what webpages you have visited, what you search for in search engine (like Google), and images from pages you visit.

If you are using the latest versions of internet browsers, click on the button that says ‘private’ or ‘secret’ browsing. This means that the pages you visit won’t be recorded.

If you know what browser you are using, then skip to the relevant instructions below. If you do not know the type of browser you are using, click on Help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen. A drop down menu will appear, the last entry will say About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox etc.

Internet Explorer
From the menu at the top of the browser, click on Tools, Internet Options and scroll down to ‘Browsing History’ and click Delete.

You can also use a quick keyboard shortcut to delete your browsing history in Internet Explorer.  This shortcut is Control-Shift-Delete. If you press this combination of keys in a (recent) version of Internet Explorer, it will pop up a dialog box that allows you to specify what you want to keep and what you want to delete. Tick the boxes next to the history you wish to remove, and then click Delete.

Delete Internet Explorer Browser History

Click here to read more about erasing history in Internet Explorer

Firefox:
From the menu at the top of the browser, click on the Tools menu in the toolbar. Then click Tools, Clear Browsing Data.

Delete Browsing History in Firefox

Firefox users can also use a keyboard shortcut to delete browser history. Press Control-Shift-Delete to display the history-clearing options available. If you don’t see a detailed list of what you can delete, click the Details arrow to reveal more. In Firefox, you can clear the last hour, the last 2 hours, the last 4 hours, the last full day, or your entire Firefox history.

Click here to read more about erasing history in Firefox.

Safari

Depending on your version of Safari, either :

Click the “gear” icon in the upper-right corner of Safari, and click Reset Safari. A pop-up menu will appear, simply tick the items that you want to clear; then press the Reset button to delete your history.

OR

Click History and then click Clear.

Click here to read more about erasing history in Safari.

Chrome

From the menu at the top of the browser, click on the Chrome menu in the toolbar. Then click Tools, Clear Browsing Data.

Delete Browsing History in Chrome
In the dialogue box that appears (shown above) click the “Clear browsing history” tick box. Use the drop down menu at the top to select the amount of data you wish to delete. Select the timeframe you wish to delete and click Clear browsing data.

Chrome users are also able to use a keyboard shortcut to display the above dialogue box – simply press Control-Shift-Delete to open the above dialogue box.

Click here to read more about erasing history in Chrome.

Deleting your browsing history:
Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a ‘history’. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key. Find any entries you wish to delete, right click and choose Delete.

Email & Mobile Phone: If you receive abuse via email or mobile phone, these can be printed or screen shot to be used as evidence of your abuse. All emails sent by you are stored in your sent items. Emails started but not sent are stored in your drafts folder.

When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook, Hotmail, etc.) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. Right click on the Deleted Items folder to delete permanently.

Please remember when using a mobile phone, emails sent and received as well as text messages and browser history are also stored to your phones browser history. Please ensure your mobile phone has password security to protect your data and remember, if your abuser has access to your phone to also delete your search history, text messages, etc. that you do not want them to see.

Toolbars: Toolbars such as Google keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.