Cover your tracks

Every time you view a website, a webpage, search for a topic (e.g. using Google, MSN Search or any other search engine), your computer stores the information you put in or the information you view.

To protect yourself, you can delete these files.

Do bear in mind that the safest way to find help for domestic abuse is to use a public computer in the library or perhaps a friend’s computer where your abuser cannot track what you have been looking at or any e-mails that you have sent.

The advice here is to help you to cover your tracks on your home computer if you feel that this is your only option.


When you access the internet, your searches and the pages you view will be stored in your computer. This is often referred to as the “history”.

If you know what browser you are using, then skip to the relevant instructions below. 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 bottom entry on the list 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.

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 labeled 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.


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


Click on Tools and then Preferences. Click on the Advanced tab and then the History section on the left-hand side. Click the two Clear buttons and the Empty Now button.


Also remember that e-mails sent (and even those you have not sent yet) may be saved either in your sent items or in your drafts folder. You can go to “Sent Items” and delete specific e-mails or similarly delete messages from your “Drafts” folder

Items that you delete are sent to your deleted items folder so make sure you empty this to permanently delete the content from your e-mail account. If you go to “Deleted Items” and right click you can choose to permanently delete the contents of this folder.