Cover Your Tracks

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.

Go "Incognito" and/or Clear Your Browser History

Use an "incognito" window (Chrome), "private window" (Firefox and Safari), or "InPrivate" browser on Edge. Using an incognito window means none of your browsing history gets saved in the browser's logs and any searches you've run are not saved.

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 also clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings.

  • Chrome: Click the three dots in the upper right corner and select “History” and then “History” again or simply click Ctrl + H. Click “Clear browsing data.”
  • Edge: Click the three dots in the upper right corner and select “History” or click Ctrl + H. Once the history menu appears, click the three dots in the upper right corner of that menu and select “Clear browsing data.”
  • Firefox: 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".
  • Safari: From the "Safari" menu, choose "Empty Cache..." or hold down the Option and Command keys and press E.


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.

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.