Safe Browsing

If you need to exit this site quickly, click on the ‘Leave site’ button on the right-hand side of the screen. This will take you to the browser homepage.

You should be aware that it is not possible to completely cover your tracks online. However, there are steps you can take to hide your movements to an extent. If you need to browse in complete privacy, use a different computer such as at a local library, internet café or at work.

Going Incognito (private browsing)

Chrome:

  1. Open up Chrome on your device
  1. In the top right-hand corner click the three little dots and select ‘New incognito window’
  1. A new window will open. To check you’re browsing incognito, look for the icon.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. To open a Private Browser Window in Firefox, click on the Firefox Menu in the upper-right-hand corner of the browser.
  1. Then select ‘New Private Window’.

Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Click on the gear icon located at the top right of the window.
  1. Then click on ‘Safety’ and then click on ‘InPrivate Browsing’. To get to this point you can also press CTRL + SHIFT + P on your keyboard.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. At the top right of your screen, click on the icon that has the three dots.
  1. Then click on ‘New InPrivate window’.

As with Internet Explorer 11, you can also use the CTRL + SHIFT + P shortcut.

Bing:

  1. Open the taskbar at the top right where the three dots icon is. This will open a list of options.
  1. Select ‘New InPrivate Window’ from the list of options. This will open an incognito window.

Safari:

To open a Private Window on a Mac, users can do a three-key combination of Command-Shift-N.

Otherwise, a Private Window can be opened by selecting the File menu and clicking on New Private Window.

Deleting cache and cookie history

What is a cache?

A cache is a special storage space for temporary files that makes a device, browser, or app run faster and more efficiently. [1]

What is a cookie?

Cookies are text files with small pieces of data — like a username and password — that are used to identify your computer as you use a computer network.

Data stored in a cookie is created by the server upon your connection. This data is labelled with an ID unique to you and your computer.

When the cookie is exchanged between your computer and the network server, the server reads the ID and knows what information to specifically serve to you. [2]

Chrome:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  1. At the top right, click the three dots.
  1. Click ‘More tools’ then select ‘Clear browsing data’.
  1. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select ‘All time’.
  1. Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
  1. Click ‘Clear data’.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Click the menu button (three stacked lines) and select ‘Settings’.
  1. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  1. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click ‘Clear Data’.
  1. Remove the check mark in front of ‘Cookies and Site Data’.
  1. With ‘Cached Web Content’ check marked, click the ‘Clear’ button.
  1. Close the ‘about: preferences’ page. Any changes you’ve made will automatically save.

You can also set Firefox to automatically clear the cache when Firefox closes:

  1. Click the menu button and select ‘Settings’.
  1. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the ‘History’ section.
  1. In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will, choose ‘Use custom settings for history’.
  1. Select the check box for ‘Clear history when Firefox closes’.
  1. Beside Clear history when Firefox closes, click the ‘Settings’ button. The Settings for Clearing History window will open.
  1. In the Settings for Clearing History window, put a check mark next to Cache
  1. Click ‘OK’ to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
  1. Close the ‘about: preferences page’.

Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Select ‘Tools’ (via the Gear Icon), then click ‘Safety’, then select ‘Delete browsing history’

You can also access this menu by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

  1. Make sure to untick ‘Preserve Favorites website data’ and tick both ‘Temporary Internet Files’ and ‘Cookies’ then click ‘Delete’
  1. You should get a confirmation at the bottom of the window once your cache and cookies have been deleted.

Microsoft Edge & Bing:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select ‘Menu’ (3 dots icon on top right-hand corner of the browser)
  1. Then click ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy & Services’.
  1. Under ‘Clear browsing data’, select ‘Choose what to clear’.
  1. Click the “Cached images and files” and “Cookies and other site data” boxes and then select ‘Clear’.

Safari:

  • To clear your history and cookies, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Safari’, and select ‘Clear History and Website Data’. It’s important to note than clearing your history, cookies and browsing data from Safari won’t change your AutoFill information.

  • To clear your cookies and keep your history, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Safari’ > ‘Advanced’ > ‘Website Data’, then click ‘Remove All Website Data’.

Search queries

Some search engines such as Chrome and Bing retain words and phrases you have typed into the search bar and show them when you or someone else next uses the search bar. If you clear your search history after each browsing session, this should not happen. However, we recommend checking the settings of the specific browser you use.

Spyware

According to technology and IT security company Norton, “Spyware is a blanket term given to software that gathers information about your computer and the things you do on it and sends that information over the Internet to a third party. Spyware often installs itself on your computer without you knowing and runs in the background, secretly collecting data, or meddling with your computer set-up.” [3]

Perpetrators may have spyware installed on your device/s to monitor who you are talking to and when. Spyware has been known to record instant messages and Skype chats, control webcams and take screenshots. It can be sent via email, instant message and social media messages.

Here are signs to look out for that might suggest spyware has been installed on your device:

  • Pop-up ads start appearing frequently.
  • Your default home page has changed.
  • Your computer starts to run slowly, freeze or crash.
  • Your browser redirects to unsolicited sites.
  • Your security software doesn’t run properly.

To protect yourself from spyware attacks, make sure you:

  • Install security software
  • Be careful what you download and only do so from trusted sources
  • Only click on links you trust
     

Footnotes:

1 – Business Insider

2 – KasperSky

3 – Norton

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