If you are worried about someone knowing that you have visited a website for advice around domestic abuse there are a few different ways to remove your 'tracks' from your browser history and generally stay safe online.
All major web browsers have a 'private browsing' mode that, once enabled, saves nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window.
- Microsoft Edge: click on the three dots in the upper right corner of your browser window and select 'New InPrivate Window’.
- Safari: click on the + sign on the top bar of the browser window to create a new tab and select the 'private' option.
- Chrome: click the menu button (three horizontal lines) and select ‘New incognito window’.
These videos also give advice on private browsing on a mobile device:
Deleting your browsing history
Internet browsers normally keep a record of all the web pages you visit if you are not using a private browsing window. Someone who is keeping track of what you are doing could go into a device and see what you've been looking at - unless you take steps to prevent this.
There are so many combinations of device types and software that we couldn't cover all the options here.
If you need to do this though, a simple Google search of 'delete browsing history' plus the name of the computer or mobile type and browser you are using should give you simple instructions on how to do this.
There are a few different things to remember when using email:
- If your partner has been threatening or abusive over email, you can print the messages and save them as evidence.
- If you start to send an email but don’t finish it, your phone or computer is likely to save it as a draft. If you are emailing a support agency for example, make sure you delete it from your drafts if you decide not to send it.
- If you do send an email, it will be in your ‘sent items’ folder. You can also delete what’s in there.
- When you delete an email, it will get moved into a ‘deleted items’ folder. You can delete them permanently from this folder.
All the above advice may not completely hide your tracks. Some browsers have features that display recently visited sites. If you are unsure, try to use a computer that your abuser has no access to, such as at a library, friend’s house or work.
Try to keep your passwords private on your phone, computer and emails so that no one can access them but you. If you do log into something, remember to log out when you have finished.