Clearing Personal Information

Internet Explorer keeps a copy of websites, images, and media you've viewed in your browser recently. It also maintains a list of websites you've visited, whether you arrived at the page by clicking a link or typing an address . This cached information—combined with cookies, saved form data, and saved passwords—can give another person who has access to your computer more information than you might want him to have .

To wipe away most of your online trail, click the Delete Browsing History option at the top of the Tools menu (on the menu bar, not the Command bar; press Alt+T to get there if the menu bar is not displayed). This dialog box, shown in Figure 6-19, allows you to clear some or all categories of information . The Preserve Favorites Website Data check box, a new option in Internet Explorer 8, allows you to preserve information related to your own Favorites sites while deleting other elements of your browsing history This option is selected by default

[y] Preserve Favorites website data

Keep cookies and temporary Internet files that enable your favorite websites to retain preferences and display faster.

[7] Temporary Internet files

Copies of webpages, images, and media that are saved for faster viewing.

Cookies

Files stored on your computer by websites to save preferences such as login information.

[z] History

List of websites you have visited.

Saved information that you have typed into forms.

O Passwords

Saved passwords that are automatically filled in when you sign in to a website you've previously visited.

n In Private Filtering data

Saved data used by InPrivate Filtering to detect where websites may be automatically sharing details about your visit.

About deleting browsing history Delete Cancel

Figure 6-19 The options in the Delete Browsing History dialog box let you specify which elements of your history you want to erase .

You can clear your personal information at any time (see the preceding section), but if you want to cover your tracks only for particular websites, a simpler solution is to visit those sites in private browsing sessions . You can open a private session by choosing Safety, InPrivate Browsing; by pressing Ctrl + Shift+P; or by choosing Open An InPrivate Browsing Window on the New Tab page . Internet Explorer opens a new window when you do this, without modifying your current session; thus, you can keep private and nonprivate sessions open at the same time . As Figure 6-20 shows, changes to the address bar and application title bar make it easy to tell if a session is private

Delete Browsing History

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