Domestic abuse - cover your tracks online
If an abuser knows how to read your computer's history or cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the internet.
If you are in immediate danger please call 999.
The safest way to find information on the internet
The safest way to find information on the internet if you suspect that you are being monitored, would be at a local library, a friend's house, or at work.
There is no way to completely cover your movements online, however there are ways to make it harder for someone to spot your internet activity.
- Use a password to protect your computer, that cannot be easily guessed, and change it regularly.
- Delete your browsing history and cookies each time you finish using the computer - you can usually do this by clicking the settings icon in your browser and altering your 'internet options'. Do bear in mind that deleting cookies can make your abuser suspicious, as it will remove all of their stored passwords. Most browsers will allow you to delete individual websites, so this may be the safest option.
- Use the private browsing mode by pressing the Ctrl, Shift and 'P' keys together. It will prevent the computer from leaving a trail showing what you've been doing online - just be sure to use the browsing window that opens when you hit those keys.
- Never allow your browser to remember passwords for websites that you use. This could allow your abuser to log on and look through your account.
- Search engines such as Google, Bing, AOL and Yahoo often keep a record of the words and phrases you've used to perform searches. Make sure you delete this record when you have finished searching - you will need to check the instructions for each individual search engine.
Women's Aid provide further information on staying safe online: Women's Aid - Keeping yourself safe online
See our other pages on domestic abuse or find out how to get help and support if you are a victim of domestic abuse.