It is possible to tell a lot about you from your internet history. Your web browsers stores various types of information while your are online which could be used to your detriment. What you do online is your business - as long as it is not illegal - and therefore it is important to know how to protect your privacy. One of the most common concerns amongst computer users is how to “safeguard my internet history. "
What Information Does Your Browser Store about My Internet History?
Your browser stores 3 types of information about your web browsing habits:
Browser History - your browser stores the URLs (web site addresses) you visit. On both Internet Explorer and Firefox this is set for 20 days.
Cookies - these are small files which websites use to identify users and keep track of their preferences. By just looking at the cookies a person could easily tell what websites you have visited and what you do on the site.
3. Temporary Internet Files- both browsers store previously selected pages and images in this folder to speed up browsing. In FireFox this is also know as the “cache. "
How Do I Clear My Internet History?
There are a number of ways to clear your online tracks. In Internet Explorer you can visit your “internet options" to make changes to your settings.
For example, you may want to reduce how long your browser stores you history for - the safest option being “0" i. e. no days. For this menu you can also delete cookies and clear your temporary internet history and browser history.
Firefox has similar functionality but as usual does it a little bit better than Internet Explorer! In FireFox there is a tool to “Clear Private Data" which you can access from the “Options" menu. You can configure this tool to clear what you want i. e. cookies, cache, passwords, internet history etc.
While FireFox in particular helps you to clear your data there is still a number of steps you need to follow. Remember your internet history is not the only privacy issue you need to worry about. Your computer stores much more information about you which you may want to keep private.
For example, it stores your instant message history, the files you download including video files, files you open on your computer and much more.
Given how much information you need to be careful of it is much easier and takes less time to use a good software product to clean out your sensitive data. A good software tool should take care of all your file history, offer the digital equivalent of “secure shredding" and give customers good support. My recommendation is below. Try a free scan and see what potential privacy risks are lurking on your computer.
Richard Rogers is a PC enthusiast and runs a number of PC related sites. If you are worried about your privacy then take a free scan of your computer here - Free Privacy Scan