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Online and Digital Safety

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Online and Digital Safety

Internet Safety

The internet is an ideal way to search for information and support anonymously, but unfortunately it is possible for others to track what you've been viewing online. The safest way to access this site if you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, is to use a computer at a local library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or at work.

Read the guidance below if you are worried about someone discovering that you’ve been on this website, and find out what you can do to cover your tracks.

How can another user discover my internet activities?

As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images from websites visited, words entered into search engines and a trail ('history') that reveals the sites you have visited. Below are instructions on how to minimise the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this website.

Should I delete my cookies and address histories?

It's important to state that there is a risk involved in removing data from your computer. Removing data from your computer might be noticed by the person you want to cover your tracks from. If you share your computer with others, then clearing your cookies means information saved, such as passwords for online banking, will disappear. Because their passwords will no longer be saved, those you share your computer with may realise that you've removed data. Also, they may notice if the address history on the PC has been cleared, and this may arouse suspicion.  

How do I work out which browser I'm using?

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 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.

How do I clear my internet history after visiting a website

When you browse the internet, information about the sites you visit is stored in the internet browser you use on your computer. To minimise the chances of someone finding out that you’ve visited this website, follow the instructions below to clear your internet history.

However, be aware that it may still be possible for someone to work out which sites you’ve visited by other means. The safest way to access this site if you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, is to use a computer at a local library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or at work.

You can clear your internet history by following the steps in the links below. If you know the browser you are using, go straight to the relevant instructions.

If you are on a PC but are unsure which browser you are using, click on help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen (or window). A dropdown menu will appear and the last entry will include the name of the browser. For example, if it says “About Internet Explorer”, this means you’re using Internet Explorer.

On a Mac, the name of the browser appears in the menu bar, just to the right of the Apple logo.

Find instructions for different browsers see:
right arrow grey Internet Explorer.
right arrow grey Mozilla Firefox.
right arrow grey Google Chrome.
right arrow grey Opera


 

Can I protect myself when Social Networking?

Is my email safe?

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing e-mail messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Be aware of how records of your emails can be accessed:

right arrow grey Any email you have previously sent will be stored in sent Items.
right arrow grey Go to sent items and delete emails you don't want a person to see
right arrow grey If you started an email but didn't finish it, it might be in your drafts folder.
right arrow grey Go to the draft folder to delete it
right arrow grey If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message - delete the email if you don't want anyone to see your original message.
right arrow grey When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird etc) it does not really delete the item - it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items.
right arrow grey You have to delete the items in Deleted Items to remove them completely

If there's a risk that your abuser may know how to access your emails, it's a good idea to set up a new email account. Use a provider like Hotmail or Yahoo for an account you can access from anywhere, and use a name that is not recognisable as you, for example anything@hotmail.co.uk.  Keep this email secret..

What do toolbars do?

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".

Electoral Registration

There are two versions of the Electoral Register. The Full Electoral Register can only be used for electoral and other restricted purposes. The Edited Electoral Register was created in 2002 to provide a consented national name and address database that can be used for non-electoral purposes. Everyone has the right to opt-out of the Edited Electoral Register, to do this contact your local authority.

Remove your details from 192.com

192.com is a website which allows users to search the information contained on the electoral roll since 2002. For a small fee, users are able to find an individual's name, address, age, phone number and co-habitants. You may contact 192.com directly to be removed from the Electoral Registers published on the Service. To do this please download the 192.com record removal form and mail it to the address given or fax it to 0207 909 2169.

Telephone Directory

BT provide an ex-directory service. If you wish to limit the ways in which your directory details are listed there options available to you.

  • Ex-directory - No calls. Your details will not be included in the Phone Book and will not be available via BT 118500 Directory Enquiries, nor our online directory service.
  • Directory Enquiries Only. Your details will be disclosed only through Directory Enquiries. This means your details won’t be printed in the Phone Book and won't be available on our online directory service.

Both options are free and you can sign up by calling 0800 800 150 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Further Information

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This page was last reviewed 17 January 2014 at 16:54.
The page is next due for review 16 July 2015.