Cover your tracks

Find out how to keep your visits to the On your mind website private by deleting your internet history.

If you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online maybe you could use a computer that's not in your home, for example at a library or a friend's house.

Hide page button - what is this?

Every page on this website has a blue 'Hide page' button on the right hand side. If you click on this button it will immediately take you away from the On your mind website to Google's homepage.

If you are using a computer in a public place, or somewhere that someone might see which website you are visiting, you can use this button to hide what you are doing quickly.

Remember someone can still click on the back button on your browser to see which site you were visiting, so if you want to hide your visit to On your mind completely, you should close your browser by clicking on the 'X' button in the top right hand corner of your page and clear your internet history and cookies. 

How can I hide my visits to the On Your Mind website?

When you visit websites, your browser remembers lots of information. It can remember which sites you've been to, what you've downloaded, and much more. This is called your internet history.

You might not want other people to see you've been looking at the On your mind website. There two things you need to do to clear your history:

  • Delete all cookies from the Temporary Internet Files on your computer. A cookie is a piece of information your computer remembers about where you've been online.
  • Delete the websites in your history folder.

Don't worry, deleting these isn't difficult. Just follow the steps on the cookies and history page here:

How to delete cookies and history

If you want to go on the internet without storing any information you can use private browsing.

What is private browsing and how does it help?

Private browsing is when you tell your internet browser not to save any history, cookies or temporary files for one session.

It is good to use if you want to visit the On your mind site in private but don’t have the time, or often forget to delete your history afterwards. It covers your tracks whilst you browse instead of you having to delete everything afterwards.

If you want to download any files or create bookmarks while you are browsing privately, you should still make sure you clear your history as these could be still saved.

How do I use private browsing?

Firefox:

  1. Before you visit the On your mind website, click on Tools in the menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Start Private Browsing’ from the list.

You can also do this quickly by clicking Ctrl+Shift+P on your keyboard.

To stop Private Browsing, select Tools again and then ‘Stop Private Browsing’ or you can close Firefox. Clicking Ctrl + Shift + P will also stop it.

Google Chrome:

In Google Chrome private browsing is known as using incognito mode.

  1. Click the spanner icon on the browser tool bar.
  2. Select ‘New incognito window’ from the list or you can click Ctrl+Shift+N on your keyboard.
  3. A new window will open with a ‘secret agent’ icon in the corner. You can continue browsing as normal in this new window.
  4. Once you have finished your session, close the window and this will automatically erase any browsing information.

Internet Explorer 8 and 9:

  1. Click on the ‘gear’ icon on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select ‘Safety’ then click on ‘InPrivate Browsing’. You can also do this by clicking CTRL+SHIFT+P on your keyboard.
  3. A new window will open with an ‘InPrivate’ indicator. You can continue browsing as normal in this new window. Make sure you look at ChildLine in this window if you want to hide your visit.
  4. Once you have finished your session, close the window and this will automatically delete any browsing information.

Internet Explorer 6 and 7:

If you're still using Internet Explorer 6 or 7, there isn't a built-in tool for private browsing. It's a good idea to carefully clear your history and cookies if you're using these browsers.

I am not sure which version of Internet Explorer I have. How do I find out?

In the menu bar, select ‘Help’ and then ‘About Internet Explorer’. This should show you what version you have.

About cookies

A cookie is a small text file that is sent to your computer from your web browser when you visit some websites.

These cookies are used to store information about you for the next time you visit that site. They save information like where you went on the site and what you did.

The cookie remembers the computer you use rather than storing personal details about you, so if you used another computer to access the site, like from school, it would treat you as a new person.

Cookie files are a great way for a website to remember you when you next visit so they can automatically fill in information like your login when you return. However, if you want to surf the net without worrying that someone can see which sites you have visited on the computer you are using, you might want to delete this information.

Online and computer monitoring software

Online and computer monitoring software helps keep a computer owner aware of what is happening on their computer.

Sometimes parents or guardians will install monitoring software on a computer to:

• ensure you are staying safe online and using the internet responsibly
• help protect you from cyber bullying and online grooming
• block certain websites that may be unsafe or unsuitable for you to use.

Unfortunately, some monitoring software (once installed and active on a computer) can track what someone is doing on the On your mind website. This could include:

• the pages you are looking at on the On your mind website

If you are worried that what you are doing on the On your mind website might be being tracked by monitoring software that has been installed on your computer, we suggest you try to use a different computer that doesn’t have the monitoring software installed (such as a computer in a library, internet café or school).

If using a different computer isn't possible, call Childline on 0800 1111 anytime for free.