Home » Internet » Security

Protect Your Computer and Internet Privacy

Jul 18, 2008
Is a known fact that every time you open a browser to view a web page, order something online, or read your email in a web based viewer that information is stored on your computer for later use. Whether you are viewing the weather online, reading sports, catching up on the latest world news or viewing something a little more private, all that information is stored in your computer. Windows operating systems store all this material in what are called Temporary Internet Files or cache. Web pages may store bits of information about who you are when you visit web sites in files called cookies on your computer. Your web browser will store a list of web sites you've visited and places you've gone in a history file in your computer. Even if you are not online, programs will store histories of the files you've opened, played, or viewed.

Generally there might not be any reason to worry about all these files in your computer, but what if you sell your computer and all that information is left for someone else to see. Maybe friends and relatives visit and use your computer and you dont want everyone to know what files you are running on your computer. Then you are going to want to know how to delete these files.

Even if you are not worried about privacy on your computer, you may be surprised to realize how much hard drive space all this information takes up. If you are running out of drive space, you may want to delete these files.

How can I delete these files?

For Internet Explorer 5 and above, you can follow these directions to clear out temporary files and delete cookies.

1) Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools

2) Click on Internet Options

3) On the General Tab, in the middle of the screen, click on Delete Files

4) You may also want to check the box "Delete all offline content"

5) Click on OK and wait for the hourglass icon to stop after it deletes the temporary internet files

6) You can now click on Delete Cookies and click OK to delete cookies that websites have placed on your hard drive.

To clear the Internet History in IE:

1) Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools

2) Click on Internet Options

3) On the General Tab, in the middle of the screen,click on Clear History

4) Click OK

To clean up other temporary files on your computer in Windows 98 or higher:

1) Click Start, Programs (or All Programs), Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup

2) Choose the correct drive usually C:

3) Check the boxes in the list and delete the files

This deleting method is only good if you want to free space, because normal file deletion only removes a file's directory entry, and leaves the data contained in the file on your hard drive, which can be easily recovered by any average computer user using a undelete utility. If you delete cookies or if you delete history using conventional methods anyone can recover them! Even after a hard drive format, files can be recovered using expensive hardware and software which use forensic latency track analysis algorithms.

There are several good utilities such as Privacy Guard that delete cookies and delete history beyond recovery.
About the Author
Alexandru Marias is an IT student.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 201
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories