Anyone who has access to your computer may be able to see what sites you have visited on the Internet. Your abuser may have ways to track your activities on the Internet, including searching through your e-mail (if they know or guess your password), looking at what sites you’ve visited or who you’ve been chatting with on programs like MSN Messenger.
Your Internet browser (like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox) stores information about which sites have been visited and when. This information is stored in the browser history and in the cache.
Here are some tips if you are worried about someone finding out what you’ve been doing on the Internet:
- If you are worried about the safety of your home computer, you can try using a computer in a public place (like the Public Library, an Internet café or at the home of a friend that you trust).
- Delete your Browser history and clear the cache of your Internet Browser. For instructions on how to clear your browser cache click here.
- Here is a resource on how to clear your cookies in multiple browsers.
- If you think your abuser or someone else on your computer will notice if the browser history is cleared, it is safer to use someone else’s computer or to just delete specific entries (if you are computer-savvy, there are different ways to do this).
- Make your passwords difficult to guess, and if possible, do not share your passwords with anyone.
If you are sent threatening or harassing e-mails by an abuser, make sure to save them in a safe place (you can use them as evidence if you so choose).
This information is courtesy of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.