Lots of websites collect personal information – some are just more obvious when doing it.
There are those sites that ask for personal information up front before granting the user access. Often, site visitors are asked for their name and e-mail address before gaining access. The Internet is a public place, so how anonymous are you? When you visit any web page, you leave traces of where you’ve been. Worse, if you share a computer, someone can see what you’ve been up to online in just a few clicks.
But there is a way to maintain your privacy through erasing the digital footprints that remain after you close your browser.
What’s important? When you want to cover your online tracks, consider removing the following: browser histories, cookies, cache files, AutoComplete information, e-mail trash, and log files created by chat programs and your internet connection. You can delete these items yourself, or install a program to do it for you.
Here are the 8 best ways to cover your online tracks:
1. Remove Most Recently Used (MRU) list
Most programs keep an MRU list showing the last used items. The most recently opened documents list is one of the ones you might be interested in, as it shows the last documents you’ve opened. You can remove or clear the list in one of several ways.
In Windows XP, you can right-click on the Start Menu, choose Properties > Start Menu > Customize > Advanced > Clear List. You can then uncheck “List my most recently opened documents” to prevent it from keeping a list in the future. Another method would be to manually remove it from the registry. Any time you tweak the registry, you run the risk of damaging your system so do so at your own risk.
If you want to remove the MRU from the registry, the key is found at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer and then remove the key for “Recent Docs”. Again, back up your registry before you make any changes, there is always the risk of damage to your system.