Browse safely

As you surf the internet, your browser will register the sites you visited, “temporarily” download files such as images and cookies, save passwords and preferred websites. These functions are designed to make internet browsing easier for you. This information will all be stored on the computer you use and anyone using the computer can know the sites you have visited and possibly gain access to your email and other services.

If you share a computer, or do not want someone to know that you have searched for information about sexual and reproductive health and rights, you can delete these information from your browser and computer. It is also good practice to regularly clear your private data and browsing history from your computer.

Here are some steps on how to delete your browsing history in some popular browsers:

1. Explorer

a) Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  • Click Start button, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options.
  • Click the General tab, and then click Delete under Browsing history.
  • Click Delete all, click Yes to confirm that you want to delete this information, and then click OK.

b) Earlier versions of Windows

  • Exit Internet Explorer.
  • Exit any instances of Windows Explorer.
  • Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet Options.
  • On the General tab, click Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files.
  • In the Delete Files dialog box, click to select the Delete all offline content check box.
  • Click OK two times.

– From the Microsoft Support site.

2. Mozilla Firefox

  • Go to Tools, click Start Private Browsing
  • A pop up window will appear and you can select what to clear from your browsers history. This includes:
    • browsing & download history – what sites you’ve visited and documents or content you’ve downloaded
    • form & search history – forms you filled in and the search keywords you have typed in.
    •  cookies – small text files containing some information about you that is stored by your browser when you visit some websites.
    • cache – bits of content from sites you have visited that are stored on your computer for faster browsing next time.
    • active logins – sites you are currently logged into.
    • site preferences – permissions you have given particular sites when browsing (e.g. allow pop-ups, or 3rd party cookies etc).
  • To remove your recent browsing history, you can select from browsing & download history up to active logins.
  • You can also select the period of time to delete, from an hour to everything. Select what is most appropriate for you (e.g. if you share your computer with someone who checks the browsing history often, then delete only the period that you have browsed sites, so as to not raise suspicions).

To configure Firefox to automatically clear cache and data every time you finish using Firefox:

  • Go to Tools >> Options
  • Select the “Privacy Tab”
  • Look for the text on the bottom of the box on “Clear Private Data”.
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select which data you want Firefox to automatically clear everytime you close the programme.
  • Select “Clear Private Data when Closing Firefox”

– From Take Back The Tech! site

3. Google Chrome

  • Click the wrench icon wrench icon on the browser toolbar.
  • Select Tools.
  • Select Clear browsing data.
  • In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  • Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  • Click Clear browsing data.

From the Google Chrome support site

For more information about how to use the internet safely, see the “Be Safe” resources in the Take Back the Tech! website.