Posts Tagged ‘webbrowser-history’

Protecting your privacy while browsing the web

Friday, December 8th, 2006



I’ve been thinking of writing a post on how to protect yourself, as a web surfer, and the steps you can take to make sure no one will be able to know what sites you’ve been visiting on the net. I had the chance today to sit and write this article, so here it is:


1. Clean history when you finish: The history of a web browser can be invaluable resource to know what a person was surfing on the net. Anyone can simply open a browser after you finish browsing the net and show the list of the websites that you’ve been visiting. This can have a very bad impact on you. Imagine for instance, that you’ve been searching for a job on a specific website and some colleague was able to access this website to learn that you’re searching for a job. It can be very annoying when you discover that your secrets are exposed by some nosy guy.

While this can be very annoying and can put you in serious trouble sometimes, the solution is very simple. You can clean your web-browser history every time you finish browsing the web. Or better, you can set your browser to clean your history when closing (if the browser supports this feature). In Smart Bro, you can simply do that by enabling the auto-history cleaner which works every time you close Smart Bro and cleans all your traces.


2. Make sure no one can access your browser: leaving your machine on and unlocked can invite some people to sit on your desk and see what programs you’re running and what websites you’re surfing. In many situations, you’ll have to leave your machine quickly to handle an urgent matter. It’s a very good habit to lock your machine before leaving because this will prevent others from accessing your computer while you’re away. On Windows XP, you can use Ctrl+K to lock your machine quickly. In case you don’t want to do that, you can activate your browser protection (if available). Some browsers provide a feature that’s call “Boss Key” which hides the whole browser by pressing a single shortcut. In Smart Bro however, you can enable protection by just minimizing Smart Bro to the system tray. Now if another person tried to open Smart Bro, he’ll be asked to provide a password to enable him to see the browser content.


3. Avoid spyware: spyware is a piece of software that will install itself on your machine with one single goal, that’s is, collecting information about you and sending it back to its creators. The spyware is getting very hard to control these days, but installing a reliable anti-spyware software may help you minimize your risk to the minimum. A very important rule to keep in mind is that whenever a website asks you to install something then handle this with caution and ask yourself if you absolutely need this to be done and whether this is a reliable website or not. If the answer is no, reject the request.


4. Be aware of your bookmarks: be careful with what you add to your bookmark list. Some people will bookmark some websites without thinking about the fact that some person may take a look at their list of bookmarks (favorites). When a person does that, it’s the same as leaving his history on the machine which will give the sneaky guy a chance to read it. Some websites these days offer online book marking (like Yahoo!). You can use that to prevent this problem. This method will guarantee that you have your list of bookmarks with you where ever you go. You can also use protected favorites. Smart Bro allows you to add a bookmark group and set a password to enable it to open. So you can bookmark your websites and keep the links protected from being seen by others.


I hope these tips will help you protect your privacy from being exposed.



Browse the web smarter … use Smart Bro.


best regards,

Tony Sticks,

Mind Vision Software (MVS)