The safest way to find information on the Internet is to go to a safer computer. Suggestions are: a local library, a friend's house or your workplace. Other safety suggestions: change your password often, do not pick obvious words or numbers for your password, and pick a combination of letters and numbers for your password.
If you are concerned about someone knowing that you have visited this site, please follow the instructions below to do everything possible to erase your internet tracks. Although no method is 100% safe, the methods below will help to protect you from detection unless the person searching for your Internet whereabouts is well-versed in advanced computing.
First, we would like to explain how your Internet browser saves your history. There are a few places your computer will save data about your Internet whereabouts:
GRAPHICS CACHE: When a webpage is first viewed, all of the graphics are stored on your computer in a cache, or storage space, on your computer's hard drive. This cache is used to make previously visited Web pages load faster by saving the graphics from the page for later use.
HISTORY FILE: Your computer keeps a list of every webpage that you visit in a history file. This is used by the browser when the history button is pressed.
COOKIES: Cookies are files created by a webpage to track certain user details, and they are also saved on the hard disk. Cookies contain information about the internet address of the website that created them and can be used to trace your whereabouts.
BROWSER BACK BUTTON: Your browser saves a list of visited sites in order to make the back button function properly.
INDEX.DAT (Internet Explorer only): This is a file that resides on your hard drive and contains information about all of the sites visited by a browser. Although this file cannot be deleted easily, it is very difficult to use to trace internet activity without extensive computer operating system knowledge.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY NOT COVER YOUR TRACKS COMPLETELY!!
Clear Your Browser's Internet History
For more information about clearing your browser history specifically with your type of browser, please visit the website of the Women's Resource Center in Glasgow, Montana.
This information on computer safety was adapted from that on the Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence Web site.