Internet browsers will generally save particular information as you visit websites. This information includes words that you have typed into search engines as well as every website that you have visited, which is known as your ‘history’.
Although it is possible to delete cookies and address histories, you could still be at risk. If you share your computer with someone and they use online banking, an internet forum or another website that requires an online account, their password may be saved. If you remove the cookies from your PC, therefore, your partner will know that you have done this because their saved password will disappear.
Follow the instructions below to delete your cookies and address histories.
IMPORTANT: To delete cookies and address histories, you need to know which type of browser you are using.
There are many different types of browsers. Common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
To find out which browser you are using, click on Help on the toolbar on the top of your browser screen. On the drop down menu, you will see an entry that says something like ‘About Internet Explorer’ or ‘About Mozilla Firefox’. This tells you the name of the browser that you are using.
How to delete cookies
To delete cookies and address histories if you are using Internet Explorer 7, click on the Tools menu and choose Internet Options. Go to the General page and under Browser History, click on the Delete… button.
You can then select the Delete all… button to delete everything, or select from Temporary internet files; History; Cookies, or Forms data and Passwords.
There are different ways of deleting your information depending on your exact browser, so look through the Help files of your browser if you are still unsure, or perform a search using a search engine such as http://www.google.com or http://www.bing.com.
How to delete your browsing history
If you are using Internet Explorer or Netscape/Firefox, to delete your record of your visited websites, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and then press the H key (Opera users should hold down Crtl, Alt and H).
You can then find any entries that say http://www.usingthewords.wordpress.com and right click and choose Delete. If you are a Safari user, select History at the top of the screen and select “Clear History”.
Advantages and disadvantages of using private browsers
Many browsers, including Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox v2.5 upwards, now allow you to use the Internet and visit websites without some or all of your activity being stored. This means that you can browse without having to worry about anybody else knowing that you have visited our (or any other) website.
There are certain disadvantages of using private browsers. Not all browsers offer the option of private browsing, so make sure that your browser is up to date. Also remember that information such as bookmarks may still be stored, depending on the browser, and that other information may still be stored if there is any third-party software on your computer that records Internet and computer activity. Examples of these programs include K9 Web Protection and OpenDNS.
We will be accepting submissions via email therefore it is important you feel safe putting personal details in an email. Below are some ways to make your email account a safer space if you are worried.
If you don’t have an email account, you can register at a popular website such as http://www.hotmail.com or http://www.gmail.com and follow the instructions. These websites allow you to access your email from anywhere with a password, for extra privacy.
Remember that records of emails can be accessed in several ways.
- All emails that you send appear in the Sent Items folder, so delete any emails that you don’t want someone who has access to your emails to see.
- Whenever someone replies to an email, earlier emails are usually in the body in the new email, so delete it if you want to keep this information a secret.
- Take a look at the Drafts folder regularly in case there are any emails that you have started but not finished.
- If you delete any email in any email program, you will find it in a folder called Deleted Items, so remember to delete the email from there to remove it completely.
Follow these steps and you have the best possible chance of remaining safe online.
Never suffer in silence and seek help if you fear that you are in danger.