Web history safety

Emergency close window button/link

If you’re worried about someone discovering you’ve been visiting websites about domestic abuse, you may need to take steps to increase your safety when visiting a web page.

If you don’t use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your emails and see your internet usage. However it may be safer to use a computer at a friend’s house, at work or at a local library.

Private browsing

All leading web browsers (for example Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge) have a ‘private browsing’ mode. Once enabled, it won’t store your computer activity in that browsing window. It won’t stop online services from seeing what you’re doing, but it won’t show on your history. This is always a useful first step to take.

Google Chrome

Click the three dot icon top right and select ‘New Incognito Window’  

Microsoft Edge

Click the three dot icon top right and select ‘New InPrivate window’  


Click the menu button top right and select ‘New Private Window’

Similar options can be found in Opera and Safari.

Deleting your internet history

Web browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a ‘history’.

This is how you delete your internet history for the leading web browsers.

Google Chrome

  1. At the top right, click More.
  2. Click History.
  3. On the left, click Clear browsing data.
  4. Select how much history you want to delete. To clear everything, select All time.
  5. Tick the boxes for the information that you want to clear, including Browsing history. 
  6. Click Clear data.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Select Settings and more > Settings > Privacy, search, and services.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, select Choose what to clear.
  3. Select a time range from the Time range list.
  4. Select the Browsing history check box and select Clear now.


  1. Click the menu button. to open the menu panel.
  2. Click History and select Clear Recent History
  3. Select how much history you want to clear:
  4. Click the Clear Now button.


Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you’ve typed into the toolbar search box. To erase all the search words you’ve used, you’ll need to check the instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for Google, you click on the Google icon and choose ‘Clear Search History’.

Phone history

Each phone’s operating system, or the app you’re using, will be accessed in different ways. To find the right settings for your phone, you’ll need to search for your phone online and ways to clear the history or how to carry out private browsing.