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Safety on the internet

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Some general hints.

If you are in an abusive relationship then it is highly likely that the abusive partner will try to track you on the internet to see what sites you visit or to see who you might interact with.

If possible it is best to leave no tracks to be found.

The safest option of all to avoid being tracked is to use a computer that the abuser has no access to. If at all possible a computer at a library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or work are all good options. This is the best way to ensure that there is no spyware or keyloggers tracking your computer or internet activity. It is still a good idea to clear your cookies and history when using a public computer.

If you have your own computer it is a good idea to keep it password protected and not allow the abuser access. Encryption may also be worth considering. It is possible that your activity could still be tracked through the internet service.

It is also a good idea to have an email address the abuser does not know about with a password the abuser will not know. Web based email addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo are safer if you do share a computer with the abuser. These are not stored on your computer.

If you register on any abuse related forums it is wise to choose a user name that the abuser is not likely to know or associate with you and do not publicly post any identifying details like location, names or details of very specific incidents.

Try to choose passwords that are not going to be obvious to the abuser. Alpha numeric is best. You can use a word that means something to you and replace a letter or two with a number. (For example if you chose the word pickle you could make it p1ckl3 by substituting numbers that somewhat resemble the letters they replace. In this instance a 1 for i and a 3 for e. It means you have a word to remember but it is way harder for anyone to guess.)

If you do share a computer then there are steps you can take to cover your tracks.

An excellent way to cover your tracks is to avoid leaving any to be found in the first place. Here are some options you could consider to achieve this.

Leaving no tracks can be done by using a portable browser such as Mozilla Firefox Portable. This browser can be downloaded for free and used from a portable storage device such as a USB drive. It will leave no record of your internet activity on the computer you use it on.

Several browsers now include a useful feature that allows private or incognito browsing. This option allows you to browse without your history or any cookies being saved after you close the browser session. The following browsers do offer this option at least on the newest versions.

For IE 8

For Firefox

For Google Chrome

For Safari

If you follow the relevant link it will explain how to engage this private or incognito mode of browsing. By using this option there will be no trace of your internet activity as no cookies or history will be stored after you close the session. I do think this is a better option that trying to go in and manually delete cookies and history yourself.

Another way to cover your tracks is by installing a different second browser onto your computer and keeping it in a hidden password protected folder that only you can access. It does require a bit more effort for you to access it.

Covering your tracks

Know what browser you are using. It should tell you at the top of your screen. Common ones are Internet Explorer or IE, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape or Safari.

To cover your tracks you need to know what web browser you are using as the instructions will vary not only by browser type but also from one version to another.

Some links to sites which offer instructions for covering your tracks or deleting cookies and history.

Shelternet.ca has quite a bit of easy to follow information and also specific instructions for removing cookies and history for the following on this page.

* PC - Internet Explorer

* PC - Netscape

* PC - AOL

* Mac - Internet Explorer

* Mac - Netscape

This site has instructions for deleting cookies and history for the following

Microsoft Internet Explorer Instructions

Netscape Communicator Instructions

Microsoft Internet Explorer (Mac version) Instructions

Netscape (Mac version) Instructions

How To Cover Your Tracks On The Internet This link offers free programs to assist with covering your tracks. It also offers links to other security related articles that may be of use or interest.

This post is not yet complete.

At the moment I am on the look out for a site that provides this information in a clear easy to follow format that is also up to date. Please PM me if you know of a site that you have found to be helpful with this. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Personally I think that if you are going to delete your cookies and history then it is better if you can to only remove the ones that are likely to be an issue if they are found. Unless clearing your cookies and history is what you normally do then suddenly deleting the whole lot is likely to arouse suspicion.

Note that if there is a keylogger installed on the computer you share none of the measures for covering your tracks will help. Keyloggers can run in the background so that you are totally unaware of their presence. They may not be picked up by security scanning or other normal means of checking. They can track every key stroke you make on the computer or record every site you visit.

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