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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: Domestic Violence: Cover Your Tracks
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Covering Your Internet Tracks

Please take a few minutes to read the warning below and to take steps to increase your safety when using the internet.


If an abuser has access to your email account, they may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. If you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password that an abuser will not be able to guess.

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse.

History/Cache File

If an abuser knows how to read your computer's history or cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), they may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the Internet. You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings.

Internet Explorer:

Pull down Tools menu, select Internet Options. On General tab, under Temporary Internet Files, click on "Delete Files". Under History, click on "Clear History."


From the "Edit" or "Tools" menu, choose "Preferences" or "Options". Expand the "Advanced" options and choose "Cache" or "Privacy". Click the button called "Clear Cache".

In newer versions of Mozilla Firefox, you can easily clear the cache, history and cookies: Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys, and press Delete (or Del), then choose what you want to remove. Or from the "Tools" menu, select "Clear Private Data".

For older versions of Mozilla Firefox, go to "Tools" -- "Options" and click on "Privacy" (picture of a key) in the sidebar of the window that pops up. Click the "Clear" button that is next to the word "Cache".


From the "Safari" menu, choose "Empty Cache..." or hold down the Option and Command keys and press E.


From the "Tools" menu, choose "Preferences". Expand the "Advanced" options and choose "History". Click the button called "Empty now".

Alternatively, you can easily clear the cache, history and cookies: From the "Tools" menu, choose "Delete private data". Click "Details", make sure that "Delete entire cache" is selected, and then choose any other data you want to remove.


Pull down Members menu, select Preferences. Click on WWW icon. Then select Advanced. Purge Cache.


Pull down Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on Navigator or choose "Clear History". Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache". On older versions of Netscape: Pull down Options menu. Select Network Options, Select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".


Many browsers are set up to remember form entries, which could be a problem if you use a search engine, to find the site. For example, if someone searches for 'domestic violence' on a search engine this entry is remembered by the browser. The next time somebody performs a search for a word beginning with the letter 'd' in that search engine, the word 'domestic violence' will pop up as a suggested entry.

In Internet Explorer, you can get around this by clicking on Tools and selecting Internet Options. Click on Content, select Auto Complete and finally, Clear forms.

This information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the Internet would be at a local library, a friend's house or at work.

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