How to Browse Safely

Warning: if you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read the following safety information.

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

How can an abuser discover your internet activities?

Please take a few minutes to read the warning below and to take steps to increase your safety when visiting this website and other websites.

As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This can include images from websites you have visited, information and search terms entered into search engines and a trail (‘history’) that reveals the sites you have visited. Please follow the instructions below to minimize the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this website (or others with similar information).

If you know which browser you are using, please skip to the relevant instructions below (see Private Browsing). If you do not know the type of browser you are using, click on Help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen. A drop down menu will appear, the last entry will say About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox, or something similar. The entry refers to which browser type you are using – you should then refer to the relevant instructions below.

Quick exit

To quickly exit this site, click on the menu button (the three horizontal bars at the top right of the homepage or any page on this website), and click on Quick Exit at the end of the menu options – this will quickly hide the page but you will still need to delete your history fully cover your tracks.

Private browsing

All leading web browsers have a “private browsing” mode that, once enabled, stores nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window. This won’t stop online services from seeing what you get up to, but it won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s always a useful first step to take.

Chrome: Click the Menu button with three horizontal dots (top right of your browser) and select “New Incognito Window”.

Safari: In the Safari app on your Mac, choose File > New Private Window, or switch to a Safari window that’s already using Private Browsing. A window that’s using Private Browsing has a dark Smart Search field with white text.

Firefox: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines – “New Private Window”.

Internet Explorer: Go to Safety – Tools – “InPrivate Browsing”.

Opera: Click on the Menu button at the top left of the browser window. Click on New private window to open a new private browsing window. You’ll see a message indicating that private browsing is enabled. You’ll also notice that each tab has a little lock icon on it.

It is also best to double-check that nothing has been stored by following the steps below.

Internet Explorer – Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options. On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK. Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK. Under History, click on Clear History and then OK. Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.

Firefox – Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy. Click on the Clear button next to Cache and Saved Form Information.

Deleting your browsing history

Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as your ‘history’. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Ctrl, Alt and H for Opera). Find any entries that say, right click and choose Delete.

In Chrome, At the top right, click More (the three vertical dots at the top right side of your browser). Click History and then History. Check the box next to each item that you want to remove from your History. At the top right, click Delete. Confirm by clicking Remove.


If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of the abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn’t finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message – print and delete the email if you don’t want anyone to see your original message.

When you delete an item in any email program (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items or to the Bin/Trash. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items/Bin/Trash folder to delete individual items.


Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.

General security

If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.

All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.