Use the Refuge website discreetly

I don’t want others to know I have visited this site.

If you do not want anyone to know that you have visited the Refuge website, the information below could help to increase your safety while using the internet.

Please remember that if you are concerned that someone is monitoring your internet usage, your safest option would be to access the internet from  somewhere like a trusted friend’s house, your workplace, an internet café or local library.

Viewing discreetly

If you are worried about somebody seeing you use the Refuge site, you can click the View Discreetly button that appears at the top of every page on the Refuge site.  This will take away all colour and design, so that it is less obvious that you are viewing the Refuge site.

Please note – The speed at which the page turns to its discreet version once you have press the button will depend on the speed of your internet connection.  If your connection is slow, it may take a while for the discreet version to appear, which may place you at risk.

Covering your tracks

Every time you use the internet your internet browser saves pieces of information such as images, search terms or words used in search engines and login names. This helps the pages you visit frequently to load faster by loading the files from your hard disk drive instead of having to downloading the web page in full again. These are saved as ‘cookies’ and they can mark a trail or ‘history’ that reveals what you have been looking at online. Below are instructions on how to minimize the chances of someone finding out that you have visited websites such as www.refuge.org.uk.

Please note – There is a risk involved in removing data from your computer. Removing cookies may clear saved passwords for membership sites such as online banking, which may alert your partner to the fact that you have removed information. Also, your partner may notice if the address history on the PC has been cleared, and this may raise suspicion.

When you have finished viewing the Refuge site take the steps below to hide your visit to this site.

You will need to know which browser you are using to access the internet.  If you are unsure what 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 on the menu will read:  “About…”, followed by the name of your browser.  For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, it will read “About Internet Explorer”

Once you have identified your browser, follow the relevant instructions below.


Microsoft Internet Explorer

Viewing history

If you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x:

  • Click the Tools menu and choose Internet Options
  • Click Settings under the Browsing history, then click View Files

If you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x:

  • Click the Tools menu and choose Internet Options
  • Click the Settings button, and then click View Files

Deleting History

If you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x:

  • Click the Tools menu and choose Internet Options
  • Click Delete Files or Delete
  • You can also delete files automatically each time you close the browser window by clicking the Advanced tab.  Choose Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder When Browser is Closed from the Security section

If you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x  on an Apple Macintosh

  • click the Hard Drive icon and choose System
  • Choose Preferences and then click on Explorer
  • Moving the history file into the trash

If you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 or lower:

  • Click the View menu and choose Options
  • Open the Advanced tab and click Settings
  • Click the Empty Folder button

Mozilla Firefox

Viewing History

  • Press Ctrl + H to open the left-side history bar.
  • Or click History at the top of the window
  • If you’re using earlier versions of Mozilla Firefox you can also view your history by clicking Go and then History

Deleting History

  • Click the Tools menu and choose Options
  • Click the Piracy button and under History click the Clear or Clear Now button

Netscape

Viewing History

  • Open Netscape and click the Edit menu
  • Choose Preferences and then History to view the location where Netscape is storing your files
  • Open the relevant folder within Internet Explorer

Deleting History

  • Clicking the Edit menu and choose Preferences
  • Choose History, and click Clear History

Opera

Viewing History

  • Open the cache folder in you opera folder
  • Microsoft Windows users can often find this within C:\Program files\Opera\

Deleting History

  • Click the File menu and choose Preferences
  • Choose History and click Empty now
  • You can also click on Empty on exit if you want to delete your history every time you leave your browser

Safari (often used on Apple Macs)

  • Resetting Safari clears the history, empties the cache, clears the Downloads window, and removes all cookies
  • It also removes any saved user names, passwords, AutoFill data and Google/Yahoo search entries
  • Go to the Safari menu at top left hand screen
  • Choose Reset Safari, and click Reset

Toolbars

Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo also record the words you have searched for.  To remove all the search words check the individual instructions for your toolbar.  For example, if you are using the Google toolbar, you just need to click the Google icon and choose Clear Search History.

Email

Reading your emails is also a way in which your partner can monitor what you are doing. So its important to remember:

  • If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work
  • Any email you have already sent will normally be saved in the folder marked Sent Items.  Delete sent emails that you don’t want someone to see
  • Sometimes an unfinished email will be saved in the folder marked drafts. Go to the drafts folder to delete it
  • If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message.   Delete the email if you dont want anyone to see your original message
  • Remember to empty your Deleted Items folder as emails you delete will be stored in there until you remove them permanently
  • If you have a shared email account or our partner has access to your login or password details, you may wish to set up a new email account that you can keep private. Use a free provider like Hotmail or Yahoo to create an account you can access from anywhere, and use a name and password that cannot be guessed by your partner

Please note – If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing e-mail
or internet messages (eg; via Facebook), they can be saved and printed as evidence of abuse.

Keeping safe on other websites

Be aware that your activity on other websites could place you in danger.  Be careful what information you share on social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Bebo or Twitter.  If you are worried about your whereabouts being discovered, please also be aware that messages you post on public forums and chat rooms could put you in danger.

For more information on how to delete history and cache from your PC visit Computerhope.com