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Cover your tracks

Worried someone might find out you’ve visited this website?

Computers store a lot of information about the websites we visit and lots of other activities. If you are worried that someone might find out you have visited our website there are things you can do to cover your tracks.

If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else may be able track your internet usage. You can clear some evidence of sites you have visited (and any searches you have done) by clearing your web browser’s history. We want you to be able to use this website as safely as possible. For further information please see the guidance below.

Please be aware that the following instructions may not completely remove all records from your computer’s memory. If you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, the safest way would be to access the internet at a local library, an internet café or trusted friend’s house.

If you are not alone when viewing this website e.g. at work or if you share your house with someone, the quickest way to exit the website is by clicking on the ‘Hide this page’ button which is on the right of this page. It will take you to Google’s homepage. Alternatively, you could close the browser window when someone enters the room. There is a shortcut on your keyboard to enable you to do this quickly:

Windows – ALT key and F4
Apple Macintosh – Apple Key and W

How to clear your browser history

Internet browsers keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a browser history. The following steps will take you through the process of deleting temporary files (the browser history) which are automatically stored on your computer when you visit a website.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 – Click on the ‘Tools’ menu on the tool bar and select ‘Internet Options’ A dialogue box will appear. Select the ‘General’ tab within the ‘Temporary Internet Files’ section, click on ‘Delete Files’. A dialogue box will appear asking if you wish to continue with the action. Click ‘OK’ to delete all files in the ’Temporary Internet Files’. This may take a little while if there are a few files to delete. Within the ‘History‘ section, click the ‘Clear History’ button. Click ‘Yes’, you want Windows to delete your history of visited sites. Click on ‘OK’ to exit the window.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8 – Click on the ‘Tools’ menu on the tool bar and select ‘Internet Options’. In the ‘General’ tab under ‘Browser History’, select the ‘Delete’ button For ‘Temporary internet files’ and ‘History’.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 – Click the ‘Tools’ menu then ‘Delete Browsing History’. A window will popup with check boxes, make sure ‘History’ and ‘Download History’ is checked and click the ‘Delete’ button.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 10, 11 – Hold the ‘Alt’ key and press the ‘T’ key then click ‘Delete Browsing History’. A window will popup with check boxes, make sure ‘History’ and ‘Download History’ is checked and click the ‘Delete’ button.

Firefox – Click ‘History’ in the top menu and then ‘Clear Recent History’.

Safari (for Apple Mac and PC) – Click on the ‘Safari’ menu, select ‘Reset Safari’, click on ‘Reset’. This clears the history, empties the cache, clears the Downloads window and removes all cookies. Be aware that it also removes any saved user names and passwords or other AutoFill data and clears Google/Yahoo search entries. (Safari also has a ‘Private Browsing’ option which you can choose before you browse and turn off afterwards. To use this, click on the ‘Safari’ menu, select ‘Private Browsing’, and click ‘OK’. To turn private browsing off, choose it from the menu again, and close any windows you’ve used to view private information.)

Google Chrome – Hold the ‘Ctrl’ key and press the ‘H’ key, then select ‘Clear browsing data’ button.

Shortcuts – you can also delete history for Internet Explorer 6 to 9, Firefox and Google Chrome by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key and press the ‘H’ key (Crtl, Alt and H for Opera). For Internet Explorer 10 and 11 hold the ‘Ctrl’ and the ‘Shift’ key then press ‘Del’. For Safari, select ‘History’ at the top of the screen and choose ‘Clear History’

Toolbars and search engines

We use these to search the internet, e.g. Google, AOL and Yahoo. However, these keep a record of the search words you have typed. 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 the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, choose ‘History’ and click “Clear Search History”.

Further information

For further help and information about keeping yourself safe while online please visit Rape Crisis Scotland’s website.