Web Safety - Cover Your Tracks

Published in Victimization

Your Internet Activities Can Be Discovered

It may not be safe for you to access sites for information about woman abuse from your computer. Your abuser could discover what sites you have visited. Internet browsers record a history of recently visited web sites for fast reloading on your next visit. Your safety could be jeopardized if your abuser were to check this history. There are some things you can do to hide your Internet use. It may be safer to access information on the Internet from a friend’s house, your workplace, a library or Internet cafe.


To hide your Internet activities you need to clear the computer’s memory of the most recent pages you have accessed on the Internet. This memory is the browser’s cache. By emptying your computer’s cache, your recently visited sites will be deleted. It is a good idea to access some sites on other subjects after you have cleared the cache so that it will have some items in it. For instance, check out the sites of newspapers, government, or entertainment.

Important TipsTIP: Use Google Chrome for it's rich features and security options. Did you know that in Google Chrome you can delete specific entries in your history instead of deleting everything? This feature makes browsing safer for you because you can leave your partner's browsing history intact.

For times when you want to browse in stealth mode, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode.

Here's how the incognito mode works:

  • Webpages that you open and files downloaded while you are incognito aren't recorded in your browsing and download histories.
  • All new cookies are deleted after you close all incognito windows that you've opened.
  • Changes made to your Google Chrome bookmarks and general settings while in incognito mode are always saved.


Below are general guidelines for clearing your cache, history and cookies:

Jump down to:

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Firefox Safari Android


If you use Google Chrome

Click on the settings button in the top right corner of the browser.

Chrome Settings

From the menu you can elect to browse using the New Incognito Window which will NOT save your history, downloads and cookies. The Incognito window will open a new window for you to browse safely to any website.

You can also go to the History option to remove your browsing history.

Chrome Settings Menu

Select History to remove your browsing history.

Chrome History

From this window you can do two things. 1. Remove all history, or all history for a specific time period or 2. Remove specific links to sites you have visited.

To clear all history in a specified time frame click on Clear browsing data. In this window you can select the option to clear your history, downloads, cookies, cache and passwords that have been stored in a specific time frame. Avoid clearing everything from the beginning of time as this may appear suspicious. Ideally you want to delete your browsing data from the past hour or day to cover your recent tracks.


Click on Clear browsing data and close the settings window.


If you use Internet Explorer 8:

Click on the Tools button and select Internet Options from the menu
IE tools

Under Browsing History, click the Delete button
ie delete history

Under Temporary Internet Files, click the Delete Files button
ie temp files

In the pop-up window, click Yes to confirm the deletion of all Temporary Internet Files
ie confirm delete

From the Delete Browsing History window, click close

ie close

Select ok
ie ok



If you use Mozilla Firefox:

From the toolbar at the top of the page select “Tools”, then click on “Options” and click on “Privacy”. Under the history tab, click on “Clear Browsing History. Under the Cookies tab, click on “Clear Cookies”.

Select Tools from the top menu and Options from the dropdown list

firefox clear cache

Click the Privacy button in the left menu

firefox privacy

To clear the list of sites that you have visited, select History and then click the Clear button

firefox more on privacy

To clear your cookies, select Cookies from the Privacy list, and then click the Clear button

firefox cookies

To clear your cache, select Cache from the Privacy list, and then click the Clear button

firefox cache

Click OK to return to Firefox


If you use Safari:

Select Safari from the top menu and choose Empty Cache… from the dropdown list

Safari empty cache

A confirmation window will appear asking if you are certain you wish to empty your cache – select Empty.

Safari Confirm clear cache

Your Safari cache has now been cleared


Android Phones 

You may be asked by a friend or partner to borrow your phone or tablet. These are devices that are commonly used to browse the internet and you will want to protect your privacy on these types of devices as well. We found an excellent resource online to guide you through how to delete your history on your Android device. Click the link below for detailed instructions on clearing your mobile history in various mobile browsers.

How to delete your web browsing history on Android


important tipsTIP: If you do not know which browser you are using, pull down the Help menu, and click on About.

TIP: Remember to clear your history on mobile devices as well



One additional but important tip!

When you clear the cache and the history list, you erase not only the information on where you’ve been, but any other information that had been previously stored there. So, if your partner or someone else checks and sees that the cache and the history list have been completely emptied, he’ll know that you know how to do this. He may also guess that you’re trying to hide something.

One possible way to avoid suspicion is to clear the cache and history once you’re done looking at information you don’t want your partner to know about. But then after they’re cleared, spend some time visiting sites that you think your partner wouldn’t object to. This way, the cache and history list start to get filled up again. Another person might be less likely to notice that old information is missing.


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