Web safety

Computers store a lot of information about the websites you visit, emails and instant messages you send, web-based phone calls you make, online purchases and banking, and many other activities.

If you are worried that someone might check what you are looking at or doing on this computer, don’t use it to get help and advice. Instead, use a computer in a library, at a trusted friend’s house or an internet café.

Keep using your computer for your routine activities, such as looking up the weather or checking what’s on TV.

If you don't want others to know you have visited this site

The information below sets out the steps you can take to view this site discreetly. Remember, if you think someone is monitoring the sites you visit at home, the safest option is to access the internet elsewhere, at a friend's house, an Internet café or the local library.

Covering your tracks

Every time you use the internet your internet browser saves information including web page addresses, images, search terms, cookies, or words used in search engines and login names. Your browser’s history can reveal what you have been looking at online. Follow the steps below to keep others from knowing you have visited the domestic abuse site.

Check your browser:

Open your browser (the programme you use to browse the Internet). The name of the browser is usually the first menu item on the left hand side. Clicking the about option on this menu will tell you the version number. Alternatively click on the Help menu to find the name and version. Your browser will be: Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Opera

Private Browsing

Internet Explorer, Firefox (versions 3.0 and above), Google Chrome, and Safari (versions 3 and above) all have private browsing settings. Selecting this option allow you to browse safely without anyone being able to retrace your steps. To enter Internet Explorer 8's private mode, select “Safety” (in the upper-right corner), then “InPrivate Browsing”. A second browser window will come up, with the "InPrivate" logo next to the address bar. If you're using Firefox 3.1 or above, select “Tools”, then “Private Browsing”. Firefox will save and close your current tabs and open a new blank tab. Firefox doesn't look different in this mode, but if you click “Tools”, you'll see that the “Private Browsing” option is ticked. Un tick it, and Firefox will close your current tags and reopen the ones it saved. To enter Google Chrome browser’s Incognito Mode, click the “Tools” icon and select “New incognito” window. Safari private browsing is enabled from the Safari menu by clicking ”private browsing”.

Deleting all data

There is a risk involved in removing all private data from your computer. Removing cookies will clear saved passwords for membership sites or online banking, which could alert people who use the same computer that you have removed information. Other people who use the same computer may notice if the address history on the PC has been cleared. If you wish to delete all traces of your browsing and are happy with the risks above, follow the instructions for your browser:

Internet Explorer

Click on tools and select “delete browsing history”. You have the choice of deleting Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, Form Data, Passwords, or all of the above. Choosing “all of the above” will delete all information, choosing temporary files and history will remove the record of the sites you have visited. You can find the same options from “tools, Internet options” for older versions of Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox

From the tools menu select “clear recent history”. You can also click “history” and “show all history”. The sites you have visited are listed as “today”, “yesterday”, etc. Right click on a URL you wish to keep private and click to delete. To have all references to a particular website removed, click the URL and hold down the control key at the same time. Click “forget about this site”. All references to that website will be deleted.

Safari

Open the browsing history menu by clicking on “history”. Scroll down to “clear history”. Click this option to remove all browsing history. To remove all data, select it and ”reset safari” (PC) or Safari and “reset safari” (Mac). If you leave all boxes unticked, all data will be deleted except email and downloaded documents.

Opera

Delete history by clicking the ”File menu, Preferences, History”, and click “Empty now”. In addition, tick "Empty on exit" if you wish this task to occur each time you exit the browser.

Google Chrome

To delete browsing history, select “history”. You can choose to delete the browsing history for a full day. You can also access the tools menu and click “options” then “under the hood” (PC) or “Google Chrome menu” (Mac) and select the option “clear browsing data”. Ticking all the options will clear all information types except downloaded documents and emails.