When you surf the internet using a web browser, information about the searches you perform will be stored on your computer in the form of cookies or temporary files. Cookies are files that are created by the websites you visit and store browsing information, such as preferences or profile information.
Cookies and IP addresses may not give away your personal information when browsing, but when these clues are combined with other data, such as your search history, you could unwittingly disclose your identity to hackers. Below are some ways to protect your privacy when using web browsers:
Delete your browser history
One of the ways to cover your online tracks is to manually delete your browser history. Or set up your browser to do this automatically (at the end of each browsing session after you have quit the application or logged out of the machine).
Use private browsing
In a private browsing window, your browser won’t keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files. This feature has different names depending on the browser you use:
- Safari and Firefox: Private Browsing
Choose New Private Window from the menu (or Ctrl+Shift+P)
- Microsoft Edge: InPrivate Browsing
Follow the menu path New InPrivate Browsing (or Ctrl+Shift+P)
- Chrome: Incognito Browsing
Choose New Incognito Window from the menu (or Ctrl+Shift+N)