Covering Your Tracks on the Internet

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It's a fact: you leave a trail that can easily be followed every time you access a website. If someone really wants to know where you've been, they're only a few mouse clicks away from finding out. Below are brief explanations of potential problem areas.

Browser history stores a list of every website you've visited. It's easily accessible from your browser by anyone who looks when you're not around.

Search history stores a list of everything (passwords, credit card information, etc.) you type into a web page. And anyone who starts filling in web forms or typing in search boxes while using your computer will get a drop-down list of information you previously entered.

Cache is a place on your hard drive where your browser stores data from viewed web pages. By simply opening cache files anyone can see where you've been, what was viewed and more.

Cookies are files that websites write then store on your computer. Every time you visit a certain site, it will look for its cookie on your hard drive. It uses the information stored within the cookie to know your name, shopping preferences and more!

To remove all Internet traces from your computer, you have to clear the cache, history, cookies and registry. To do this, just use this very basic security protocol to help keep your Internet activities private.

In Internet Explorer, for example, Delete Browsing History on the Options screen will help clear Internet history, search history, cache, cookies, index files, stored passwords, recent documents and recently used programs. Furthermore, Clear All History will do it automatically and can be set to clear out all your private documents every time you start/exit your computer or after a set period of time.

Of course, the above information may not completely hide your tracks, but it will go a long way in helping you get there. Your best bet is to make sure that you and only you have access to your own computer.

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