Taking all of the actions on this page may not prevent an abuser from discovering your email and Internet activity. The safest way to find information on the Internet is to go to a safer computer. Some suggestions would be your local library, a friend's house or your workplace. Other safety suggestions: Change your password often, do not pick obvious words or numbers for your password, and make sure to include a combination of letters and numbers for your password.
HOW AN ABUSER CAN TRACK YOUR ACTIVITIES
If an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. Even if you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password he or she will not be able to guess.
If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, you can print and save them as evidence of this abuse. These messages may also constitute a federal offense. For more information on this issue, contact your local United States Attorney's Office.
ERASING YOUR TRACKS
If an abuser knows how to read your computer's history of cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed on the Internet.
You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your brower's settings*
Pull down Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on Navigator or choose "Clear History". Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".
Pull down Tools menu, select Internet Options. On General page under Temporary Internet Files, Click on Delete Files. If asked, check the box to delete all offline content. Still within the Temporary Internet Files section, click on Setting (This step may make it harder to navigate pages where you would like your information to be remembered, but these remaining cookies do show website pages you have visited. Therefore, use your own judgment as to whether or not to take this next step). Click on "View Files", Manually highlight all the files (cookies) shown, then hit Delete. Close that window, then on General page under History section, click on "Clear History."
Pull down Members menu, select Preferences. Click on WWW icon. Then select Advanced. Purge Cache.
Additionally, you need to make sure that the "Use Inline Autocomplete" box is NOT checked. This function will complete partial web addresses while typing location in the address bar at the top of the browser.
If you are using Internet Explorer, this box can be found on the MS Internet Explorer Page by clicking on "Tools" at the top of the screen, then "Internet Options" and then the "Advanced" tab. About halfway down there is a "Use Inline Autocomplete" box that can be checked or unchecked by clicking on it. Uncheck the box to disable the feature that automatically completes an Internet address when you start typing in the Internet address box.
*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.
For help call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) TTY 1-800-787-3224