Kamis, 10 September 2009

Lets face it, computers and the internet have become part of our everyday life.

Information is readily available and just a keystroke away. But what if you don't want people to know your privacy information? What if you don't want people to know you have been looking at inappropriate material? Then you need to know how to cover your tracks.

You need to realize that everything you do on the internet, leaves a trace, an electronic footprint on your machine that others can see. For this reason, it is important that you know how to retain control of your privacy and delete your history.

There are many programs for sale that will do this for you automatically, but for most people it is just a matter of knowing how to delete your history in the various browsers and software that are out there today.

For example, Firefox has the option to Clear Recent History from the Tool menu, but you can also set it up so it deletes your history, cookies, etc every time you exit FireFox. This is definitely a good thing to setup if you don't want people to see your history.

Microsoft operating systems and programs also retain history settings, such as Windows Media Player, so it is important not just in the browsers to make sure you delete your history, but also in the other applications.

So what sort of history do I leave behind? The answer is quite a lot. Most browsers will have the following things that get cached on a users machine.

Internet Browser History
Your web browser stores all of your history, this includes a list of every web site you have previously visited, every search string you have performed in the various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Live), information you have entered on websites and much much more.

Browsing History can be both convenient and inconvenient. It is useful if you have visited a site and later forget what the address was. Simply pulling up the History window you can find out what the address is. Of course there may also be times when you do not want other users of your computer to see or access such information. For example, if a friend or family member shares your computer, you might prefer that they not to be able to see what websites you've visited or what files you've downloaded.
Browser Cache or Temporary Internet Files

This stores copies of web pages, images, and media that are saved for faster viewing. Even though this isnt the Browsing History users can still get a good idea of what sites you have visited by looking at this data.

A cookie is a file created by a website that stores information on your computer, such as your preferences when when visiting that site. An example of cookie is when a web site has a "Remember This" checkbox.Ticking the check box will create a cookie on your computer and subsequent visits to that site will remember you settings.

Saved Form and Search History
Contains a list of phrases you have entered in text fields, such as web searches, and name and address fields.

Download History
Keeps a list of files you've downloaded.

Offline Website Data
Information that web sites have stored on your computer for use without an internet connection.

Saved Passwords
Contains a list of usernames and passwords that you have specified for your browser to remember.

As you can see this is just for the browsers, when you start including other history that is left behind by other 3rd party applications the problem grows.


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