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Safe Browsing

Preventing other people from knowing you’ve visited the Switchboard website

Warning: there is no way to completely cover your movements online
This information can help you to cover your tracks online to an extent, but the only way to be sure is to use a completely different computer, either at a local library, internet cafe, at a friend’s house or at work.

Someone can look at the history of sites you’ve visited easily…
You don’t have to be a computer expert to track someone’s movements online. As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images from websites visited, words entered into search engines and a trail (‘history’) that reveals the sites you have visited. Below are instructions on how to minimize the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this website.

Warning about deleting cookies and address histories

There is a risk involved in removing data from your computer. For instance, if someone else that uses your computer uses online banking and has a saved password, then if you clear the cookies on your PC, they will realise you’ve done so, because their password will no longer be saved. Also, they may notice if the address history on the PC has been cleared, and this may raise suspicion. On all browsers you will have a tab called History or Favorites where you can select individual websites to delete, although other traces of sites (eg cookies, passwords) may not be deleted. One way to lower the risk of suspicious history removal is to use Private browsing mode (see below). However the safest way is to use a different computer.

Private Browsing (name varies for different browsers)

This tool prevents websites from saving any data about you which may leave a trail, such as cookies, history or other browser data created or saved in that session. Your history for that session will also be deleted when you close the window.

Not to be confused with Private Filtering, which has another function and will not stop someone from seeing your trail!

Generally Private Browsing can be activated in the Tools bar. This will open a new window. Remember only to use this window for your browsing session, and make sure you close it! Leaving this window open will alert your abuser that you are concerned he is tracking you.

However, even though it helps, this mode is not entirely safe, and there are some programmes that can recover deleted files, or a determined person could still find traces of your visit if they read enough “tips” online. Again, the only safe way is to use a computer your abuser does not have access to!

Remember toolbars

Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. 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 example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.