Covering Your Tracks: Web Browsing, Email and Phone

Web Browsing 

If you suspect someone is monitoring the sites you visit on the Internet, here are some tips to avoid being caught: 

1. Avoid using computers or mobile phone that can be monitored
Use a computer at a local library, a friend's house or your child's school. 

2. Use a special 'private' browser window designed for private internet use and close it when finished

  •  For Google Chrome, click on menu icon and select 'New Incognito Window'
  •  For Apple Safari, click on File, then 'New Private Window'
  •  For Windows Explorer, click on Settings, then Safety, then 'InPrivate Browsing. 

Private browsing windows/tabs will not record your browsing history from that session, but you must close them when finished.

3. Delete your browsing history
If you aren’t using a private window as outlined above, your browsing history will be recorded. Follow the steps below to delete specific websites from your browsing history. Remember: If you delete the entire browsing history, it could look like you are trying to hide something, so erase only the sites that matter.

Your browsing history can be stored in a few places. The browser itself, and the history section of your google account (if you have one).

For both mobile and computer, go here.

Google Chrome

For Internet Explorer 11 go here.
For Internet Explorer 10 go here.
For Internet Explorer 9 go here.

Internet Explorer

For browsers not listed above, or if the instructions don't work, you can usually find instructions for deleting browser history by searching for Browser Name  + 'delete history' in google or another search engine.

Other Browsers

Your google account may also record your internet history if you are logged in. To delete that history:

  1.  Visit the Web & App Activity page. You may be asked to sign in to your Google Account.
  2.  Check the box next to the item you want to delete. You can delete an entire day of items by checking the box next to a date.
  3.  At the top of the page, select Delete.

Google Account History


When sending and receiving emails, delete them from your Inbox and 'Sent Mail' and 'Draft' Folders

Avoid using a computer that can be easily monitored. Instead, use a computer at a public library, a friend's house or your child's school.

Every email you send will be saved in the 'Sent' folder. Be sure to erase these after sending emails.
If you started writing an email but didn't send it, it might be saved automatically in the 'Draft' folder. Be sure to erase these unsent emails. 

Consider creating and using a private email address that only you know about. Many websites (such as google) provide these for free.


Avoid using a mobile or home phone that logs your call history. Instead, use a payphone or a work phone. If you are using a mobile phone, practice erasing dialed phone numbers before making a call that will show up in your call history. Usually the phone number can be selected in the call history and erased.