HOW TO HIDE INTERNET ACTIVITIES

Your abuser may have ways of tracking your activities on your home computer. There are steps you can take to make it more difficult for someone to track your activities.

There are a few ways that someone could easily find out what websites you have visited. Computers have what is called a cache file. The cache automatically saves web pages and graphics. Anyone who looks at the cache file on your computer can see what information you have viewed recently on the internet. Also, most web browsers like Internet Explorer and Netscape keep a list of the most recent web sites and links that you have visited in a History file. You can look at your own history by clicking on the "History" button on your toolbar.

To clear some of that tracking ability, you can clear the cache and history files so your computer doesn't keep a list of the sites you have visited. But you should be very cautious about doing this. If your abuser is comfortable with computers and sees that you have cleared all the cache and history files on your computer (including the websites they have visited), they could become suspicious or angry. If that is a possibility, it would be better for you to use a computer they cannot access.

In your Internet activities, there are three things that can help an abuser track your activities:

  • Cache
  • History
  • Cookies

Cache is a memory file of websites you visit. Each time you access a file through your web browser, the browser caches or stores it. In this way, the files, including any images on the page, do not have to be retrieved each time from the remote web site each time you click the Back or Forward buttons.

History is the computer’s way of helping you when you’re trying to go to a site you’ve already visited so you won’t have to remember the website address. In trying to help you, this history the computer maintains can harm you. In most web browsers you can view your history by looking at the browser’s top menu and click on “History.” You can see the various files your computer maintains for you.

Cookies are pieces of text that a web server can store on your hard drive. Cookies allow a website to store information on your hard drive and later retrieve that information. You can see which websites place a file on your machine by looking at the file name (the information is also stored inside the file).

To clear Internet cache

To clear Internet cache, please go to the following website, hosted by Indiana University. You will need to determine which web browser you are using. To do that, look at the menu bar at the top of your screen. You should see “Help.” Click “Help.” Once clicked, you should see at the bottom “About “your web browser” which could be Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape. Drag your mouse to this choice. The next window will give you information as to the specific web browser you are using.

To Clear Your Web Browser’s History

To clear your web browser’s history, please go to the following website, hosted by Indiana University. To determine which web browser you are using, look at the menu bar at the top of your screen. You should see “Help.” Click “Help.” Once clicked, you should see at the bottom “About “your web browser” which could be Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape. Drag your mouse to this choice. The next window will give you information as to the specific web browser you are using.

To Delete Your Computer’s Cookies

To delete your computer’s cookies, please click here.