We all want privacy—especially when using the internet. Not that you’re visiting questionable sites, but who wants snoopy co-workers or nosey family members tracing your steps through cyberspace? With the click of a toolbar button (or Ctrl+H) your browsing history will be on display for all to see. Want to avoid this? Whether you use Internet Explorer or Firefox, here’s what you can do…
To clear out the History with Internet Explorer, hit the Tools/Internet Options. On the General tab, you’ll see a Browsing History area. Click the “Clear History” button and you’re all set. In some versions of IE it might say “Delete” instead. There is also an option to “Delete Browsing History on Exit”, which comes in handy, too.
Also, if you click the “Settings” button in this area you can set your history limit. You can use it to set how many days something stays in History from 0 to 99. By selecting 1 it will delete your History every day so if you forget to clear, you’re tracks are covered.
For Firefox users simply go to go to Tools>Clear Private Data. A box will pop up, giving you options on what types of data you’d like to delete.
You can also go to Tools>Options and under the Privacy Tab you’ll see an option for how long to keep your history. You can use it to set how many days something stays in History. By typing in 1 it will delete your History every day so if you forget to clear, you’re tracks are covered. Like Internet Explorer, there is also and option to delete history upon exit if you desire.
But History isn’t the only place where you’re vulnerable. As you surf the web, every page, every graphic, cookie, etc. is saved in your temporary internet files. Why is this? Well, for one, if you visit a page often it brings up the files from the cache rather than getting them online, thus making the page appear quicker. Someone could go to this folder and view the cached pages if they knew how. The good news is that you can dump them with Disk Cleanup.
Here’s a tip on Disk Cleanup for Windows XP:
..and one for Vista, too!:
There are also software programs that will empty your temp files automatically and monitor your cookies, only allowing in those that you specify.
In addition, clearing out your Temporary Internet files frees up space and increases security.
Here’s to stealthy surfing!