Covering Your Tracks
I Don’t Want Anyone to Know I’ve Visited This Site.
For your own safety, when you search online for information or communicate about abuse, do not use any computer your abuser may have access to. Your internet, e-mail and online document use activities leave traces on your computer that can be found by your abuser. Use a computer to which they don’t have access, such as at work or in the library. If you use your own computer, complete the following steps to protect yourself:
1. Clear Your Browser’s Cache
Your browser is the tool you are using to surf the net (like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome). When you use search engines (such as Google, or Yahoo), your browser, and these search engines record and display past searches in something called a “cache”. The cache has files recording what websites you have visited or what searches you have done in the past. Here is a guide to deleting past searches with Google. To delete this your browser’s cache, go to your browser’s Tools or Internet Options or Preferences, and clear your cache.
2. Clear Your Browser’s History
Your browser keeps a history of websites you have visited, and anyone can access this. Do the same thing (above) to find and delete your browser’s history.
3. Change Your Passwords
Change your passwords regularly. Do not store them somewhere obvious. Do not use easy to guess passwords, such as your birthday or your child’s name. Use passwords that include both letters and numbers.
4. Delete Your E-mails and Files/Documents
Delete e-mails from the your “Sent” or “Outbox” folders. Also delete e-mails from the “Deleted Items”/”Trash” folder. In addition, empty the “Recycle” or “Trash Bin” on your computer of any documents before shutting down the computer. Make this a regular routine so it is not an unusual action that may trigger suspicion.
5. Log Out!
Don’t forget to log out of any accounts you are signed in to before you leave.
These steps will not remove all traces of your computer activities. It is still best to use a computer to which your abuser does not have access.