When you search for information or discuss domestic abuse online, do not use a computer that the person who is putting you under pressure has access to.
Your internet, email and ‘document use’ activities leave traces on your computer that can be found by them. Use a computer to which he/she does not have access, such as at work, in a library, or a friend’s or family member’s computer.
If you do use your own computer, complete the following steps to provide some measure of protection for you and to remove most traces of your computer activities. These steps will not remove all traces of your computer activities, so it is best to use a computer to which the person pressuring you does not have access.
Do not use obvious passwords, like your birthday or your pet’s name. Passwords that include both letters and numbers are the most secure.
Delete emails from the “Send” or “Outbox” and then also delete emails from the “Deleted Items” box.
Make sure you empty the “Recycle” or “Trash Bin” of any documents before shutting down the computer.
TOP TIP: Make this a regular routine so it is not an unusual action that may trigger suspicion.
Search engines can retain and display past searches. Here is a guide to deleting past searches with Google.
With AOL searches can be cleared on the Web Matches pages. Hit the Clear All icon under Recent Search History. The listing of recent searches can be disabled by hitting the Turn Off icon under Recent Search History.
Other search engines may also retain and display searches. Check any search engine that you use for this function.
Below are links to more detailed directions for clearing cookies, temporary website files and history for browsers on PC and Mac. Click on the link for the software you use. You also can refer to your software “Help” menu or technical support.
Some browsers have ‘private browsing’ settings (e.g Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ setting) where no history is saved to your computer at all.