Online Safety

Internet Safety

The internet is a great source of information, and email can be an excellent way to communicate with family and friends. Be aware that someone who has access to your computer may be able to see what sites you have visited, or read your email messages.

There are steps you can take to make it more difficult for someone to track your activities. They are described through the links below. If your abuser knows his or her way around computers it might be better for you to use a computer outside the home - at a library, school, internet café or a friend's house.

Your abuser may have ways of tracking your activities on your home computer that are difficult to prevent.

If you are concerned about the safety of using your home computer, if possible, use a computer at a public library, a school, an internet café, or at the home of a trusted friend.
It may not be safe for you to access sites for information about woman abuse from your computer. Your abuser could discover what sites you have visited. Internet browsers record a history of recently visited web sites for fast reloading on your next visit. Your safety could be jeopardized if your abuser were to check this history. There are some things you can do to hide your Internet use. It may be safer to access information on the Internet from a friend's house, your workplace, a library or Internet cafe. 

To hide your Internet activities you need to clear the computer's memory of the most recent pages you have accessed on the Internet. This memory is the browser's cache. By emptying your computer's cache, your recently visited sites will be deleted. It is a good idea to access some sites on other subjects after you have cleared the cache so that it will have some items in it. For instance, check out the sites of newspapers, government, or entertainment. 

[Text credited to Sexual Assault Centre London].

Clearing your Internet browsing history:

To cover your computer tracks you need to clear your computer’s history and cache (automatically saved web pages and graphics). Remember to complete this procedure each time you use the Internet prior to logging off. You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your brower's settings:

  • For Microsoft Internet Explorer: Click on Tools or Safety, click on Delete Browsing History Options, click on the boxes by the options you want to clear, and hten click Delete.
  • For Google Chrome: Click on the wrench icon, then click History.  Check Edit items... and click Clear all browsing history. Select the time period from the drop-down list by Obliterate the following items from: and then click Clear Browsing Data.
  • For Firefox: Click on Tools, then click on Clear Recent History.  Under Time range to clear:select Everything, check the boxes by the options you want to clear and click Clear Now.
  • For Safari: Click on the wheel icon, then click Reset Safari.  Check all items and click Reset.

Using Private Browsing:

  • For Microsoft Internet Explorer 8: Click on Tools or Safety, then click on InPrivate Browsing.
  • For Google Chrome: Click on the wrench icon, then click on New Incognito Window.
  • For Firefox 3.5 and newer: Click on Tools, then click on Start Private Browsing, click OK.
  • For Safari 2.0 and newer: Click on the wheel icon, then click on Private Browsing, click OK.

**Please note that Silverlight, Flash versions less than 10.1, and other plugin applications still put information on the computer even in private browsing mode.  Flash 10.1 supports private browsing on Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

The above content is credited to The Women's Community Inc.

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