- How do the websites I visit record what I do on the Internet?
- What does my search history reveal about me?
- How can I change my browser settings to keep my internet activity more private?
Consider these questions as you review the examples below. Try the quiz from the left menu: What Have You Learned? after you’ve spent some time with this section.
Watch the screencast below (just over a minute long). Think about the questions above as you watch. Next, review the Think Before You Ink section following the video. Finally, see the Check Yourself section to assess your understanding about managing your web history.
Your computer keeps a record of the websites you visit. Your internet history is a chronological list of URLs you visited which can also be arranged by frequency of use. Your computer also stores temporary internet files from the individual websites you access.
- Your browser history is the reason why you can type part of a long address in the address bar and have the entire URL retrieved to click on for ease of use. It also allows you to check back and see what sites you’ve looked at in case you’ve forgotten where you got some information from.
If somebody else has access to your computer (physically, through cookies, or by hacking) they will be able to find the sites that you visit. This could be a problem if you save your password on favorite sites since such people might be able to re-visit the site and pose as you.
- The link below provide step-by-step instructions for deleting browsing history on various common internet browsers.
- Refer to the page Control Your Cookies to understand more about how these snippets of code add to your convenience (i.e. storing passwords so you don’t need to remember them) but also make it easier for people who want to get at your personal information.