"

Cover your tracks online

The internet is an ideal way to search for information and support anonymously, but unfortunately it is possible for others to track what you've been viewing online.

Read the guidance below if you are worried about someone discovering that you’ve been on this website, and find out what you can do to cover your tracks.

The safest way to access this site if you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, is to use a computer at a local library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or at work.

While you are online.

If you’re worried someone might come into the room and you don’t want them to see what you’re looking at, you could open another browser window or document and keep it open behind the site you’re looking at. This way if you need to close a window quickly, you’re not left looking at a blank screen.

Deleting cookies and address histories.

Be aware that removing data from your computer might be noticed by the person you want to cover your tracks from. If you share your computer with others, then clearing your cookies means information saved, such as passwords for online banking, will disappear. Because their passwords will no longer be saved, those you share your computer with may realise that you've removed data. Also, they may notice if the address history on the PC has been cleared, and this may arouse suspicion.

How to clear internet history after visiting our website.

When you browse the internet, information about the sites you visit is stored in the internet browser you use on your computer. To minimise the chances of someone finding out that you’ve visited this website, follow the instructions below to clear your internet history. However, be aware that it may still be possible for someone to work out which sites you’ve visited by other means. The safest way to access this site if you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, is to use a computer at a local library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or at work.

You can clear your internet history by following the steps in the links below. If you know the browser you are using, go straight to the relevant instructions.

If you are on a PC but are unsure which browser you are using, click on help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen (or window). A dropdown menu will appear and the last entry will include the name of the browser. For example, if it says “About Internet Explorer”, this means you’re using Internet Explorer.

On a Mac, the name of the browser appears in the menu bar, just to the right of the Apple logo.

Find instructions for different browsers:

Internet Explorer:

  • Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
  • On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK.
  • Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK.
  • Under History, click on Clear History and then OK.
  • Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select Auto Complete and finally, Clear Forms.

Firefox/Netscape:

  • Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy.
  • Click on the Clear button next to Cache and Saved Form Information.

Opera:

  • Click on Tools and then Preferences.
  • Click on the Advanced tab and then the History section on the left hand side.
  • Click the two Clear buttons and the Empty Now button.

Deleting your browsing history:

Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a 'history'. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Netscape/Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Crtl, Alt and H for Opera). Find any entries that say sorrysnotenough.co.uk, right click and choose Delete.

Email:

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn't finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message – print and delete the email if you don't want anyone to see your original message.

When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird etc) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items folder to delete individual items.

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".

General security:

If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend's house, or at work.

All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend's house, or at work.