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How to access online support safely

Warning: please read the following information if you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this webpage.

Internet browsers will save certain information as you explore the web. This includes information that you have entered into search engines and a trail (‘history’) that shows the websites you have visited. Please follow the instructions below to minimise the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this site.

If you are unsure which 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 should say About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox, or something similar. This refers to which browser you are using. If you are having trouble doing this, you can compare the logos below to the one that appears on the tab menu at the bottom of your screen. Now you can follow the relevant instructions below.

Exit button

The orange Exit Now button at the top of the webpage will quickly close the page but you will still need to delete your history to fully cover your tracks.

Private browsing

All leading web browsers have a “private browsing” mode that, once enabled, stores nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window. Your internet provider will still be able to see your search history, but it won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) meaning it will be hidden from other people using your computer.

Internet Explorer: Go to Safety – Tools – “InPrivate Browsing”.

Firefox: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines – “New Private Window”.

Chrome: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines and select “New Incognito Window”.

Similar options can be found in Opera and Safari.

Deleting your browsing history

Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a ‘history’. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Ctrl, Alt and H for Opera). Find any entries that say, right click and choose Delete.

For Chrome, at the top right click More , click History > History. Check the box next to each item that you want to remove from your History. At the top right, click Delete. Confirm by clicking Remove.


Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.


If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn’t finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message – print and delete the email if you don’t want anyone to see your original message.

When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, etc.) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items folder to delete individual items.

General security

Please be aware that all of the above 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.