Safe website usage

If someone you know is abusing you, you may not want them to know that you have been looking at this site. If that person can use the same computer as you, it is possible for them to see how you've been using the internet.

The only certain way to prevent anyone finding out what web pages you have been viewing is to use a computer which they do not have access to; this could be at a local library, a friend's house, or an internet cafe.

As there are so many different systems, web browsers and computers, we cannot offer a comprehensive guide to removing any evidence that you have looked at information on a Victim Support website.

However, we have provided a guide to safety and security when using a Victim Support web site below which may help to reduce the possibility of tracing your website use.

A guide to safe website usage

Please read this safety warning before looking at our site.

If you are worried about someone knowing that you have visited this website then please read this warning. It tells you how to take steps to increase your safety when using the internet.

This information may not completely hide your tracks. A lot of browsers have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet is to use a computer at your local library or a friend's house.

1. How to clear an internet cache

It is possible for someone to see which websites you have visited by looking at your computer's cache file. This stores parts of web pages on your local hard drive for easier accessibility and shorter download times. You can empty your cache file in your browser settings to prevent someone looking at the websites you have accessed.

Follow these directions to clear your internet cache:

Browser Win9x/NT/2000/Me

Internet Explorer:

  1. From the menu bar, select Tools
  2. Select Internet Options
  3. Under General Tab, look for Temporary Internet Files
  4. Click on Delete Files
  5. Select the Delete All Offline Content checkbox and click OK
  6. Click OK once more to return to your browser
  1. From the menu bar, select Edit
  2. Select Preferences
  3. From Advanced menu, select Cache
  4. Click on the Clear Memory Cache button
  5. Click on the Clear Disk Cache button
  6. Click OK to return to browser

On older versions of Netscape: Pull down Options menu. On General page, under Temporary Internet Files click on Delete Files. Under History, click on Clear History.


  1. Go to Start - Programs - AOL - AOL System Information
  2. Click Utilities at the top of the window
  3. Click Clear Browser Cache. The Current Cache Size will change to 0KB
  4. Close the AOL System Information window by clicking the X in the top right hand corner of the window

Connect to AOL to see if this has solved the problem. If not, try this method:

If AOL System Information is not listed in the Programs menu:

  1. Sign on to AOL as normal
  2. Go to AOL keyword: Preferences
  3. Click Internet Properties (www) - This will open the Internet Options window
  4. Click Delete Files and then click OK to delete your temporary Internet files
  5. Now click OK to close the Internet Options window

Risk - Low
Very few internet users know the location of the Temporary Internet Files folder. However, if someone does look at it and notices it is empty they may find this unusual and be suspicious. Overall, however, the risk is low.

2. How to remove sites from the browser history

The browser history is different from the internet cache as it is located through the browser history function and keeps a temporary bookmark on all of the pages you've previously visited in a period of time.

To prevent anyone seeing your visits to a particular site, it is necessary to follow the directions below. This information will need to be cleared after every time you have looked at a site you do not wish someone to see that you have accessed.

Browser Win9x/NT/2000/Me

Internet Explorer

  1. Select View from menu bar
  2. Highlight Explorer bar
  3. Select History
  4. A bar shows up on the left hand side. Select the item you wish to delete
  5. Right click on the selected folder and select Delete

Netscape 6

  1. From menu bar select Tasks
  2. Highlight Tools
  3. Open the folder in which you wish to delete an item
  4. Open the Sites folder
  5. Select an item in the folder you wish to delete
  6. From the menu bar select Edit
  7. Select Delete entire domain

Risk - Moderate
If this has been done properly there will be no signs anything has changed. Be careful not to delete the entire history, as there is a large possibility other users will notice that their history has been cleared.

3. How to remove cookies from the hard drive

Cookies are small pieces of code left behind by web pages to store frequently requested information. For example, when you click on a checkbox to say 'Save my login information' it then writes a cookie to the hard drive that can be called upon next time you visit the site, preventing you from having to login again.

It is not a good idea to delete all your cookies files because if you do all stored passwords, user information, and preferences from various sites will be forgotten and you will have to re-enter all this information. This will be an obvious change. Therefore, you only need to delete cookies from sites that are high risk. This information will need to be cleared after every time you have looked at a site you do not wish someone to see that you have accessed. Also, note that all browsers will allow you to delete a single item.

Browser Win9x/NT/2000/Me

Internet explorer

  1. Select Tools from the menu bar
  2. Select Internet options
  3. Under the General tab look for Temporary Internet Files
  4. Click on Settings
  5. Click on View Files
  6. A list of cookies will appear Most of the filenames will be in this format [username@domain [eg]
  7. Select the cookie you wish to delete
  8. Right mouse click and select Delete

Netscape 6x

  1. From the menu bar select Edit
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Under Privacy & Security select Cookies
  4. Click View Stored Cookies
  5. Select the cookie you wish to delete
  6. Click Remove Cookie Do not tick the checkbox title Don't allow removed cookies to be reaccepted later This will add them to a list easily accessible through the Cookies Sites tab.

4. Keeping email safe

It is very easy for someone to access your private email - it can and is usually read by unwanted visitors.

Here are some tips for you to follow to make sure your email is secure: