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Cover your tracks

Find out how to keep your visits to the ChildLine 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.

Cover your tracksHide page button -  what is this?

Every page on ChildLine has a yellow 'Hide page' button on the right hand side. If you click on this button it will immediately take you away from the ChildLine 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 ChildLine 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 ChildLine 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 ChildLine website. There two things you need to do to clear your history:

1. 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. 

2. Delete the websites in your history folder.

Don't worry, deleting these isn't difficult. Just follow the steps on this page for your browser.

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

  • Find out which internet browser you're using

    You can do this by looking at the top bar of the screen and clicking on the help menu. Then look for About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox or a similar 'About...' area. Click this and you will see your browser name and version number. Then follow the instructions for your browser.

  • Internet Explorer 6

    If you use Internet Explorer 6, go to the menu bar at the top of the page. 

    1. Click on Tools.
    2. Go to the bottom of the dropdown menu and click on Internet Options. This will open a box with the names of several different sections along the top. You will already be in the section called General.
    3. In the middle of this box is a section called 'Temporary Internet Files'. Click on the button marked 'Delete files'.
    4. When the box pops up, tick the 'Delete all offline content' box and then click OK.
    5. When your computer finishes deleting your temporary internet files, you will be back in the General Internet Options box.
    6. Look at the section below called History. Here you can click on the 'Clear History' button.
    7. A pop-up box will ask you if you want to delete all items in your history folder. Click Yes.
    8. Click OK to close the Internet Options box.

  • Internet Explorer 7 and 8

    1. Go to the menu bar at the top of the page. Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options. This will make a box pop up with the names of several different sections along the top. You will already be in the section called General.

    2. In the General section under Browser History, select the Delete button.

    3. You can select and delete each section: Temporary internet files; Cookies, History; Form data and Passwords.

    4. You can also just select the 'Delete all' button at the bottom to clear everything.

  • Internet Explorer 9

    1. Click on the ‘gear’ icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. It looks like a little wheel. Then click on Internet Options.

    2. This will make a box pop up with the names of several different sections along the top. You will already be in the section called General.

    3. In the General section under Browser History, select the Delete button.

    3. Tick each box: Temporary Internet files, Cookies, History, Download History, Form data, Passwords, InPrivate Filtering data.

    4. Un-tick the ‘Preserve Favourites website data’.

    5. Click Delete to clear everything.

  • Internet Explorer 10

    1. Move your mouse to the right hand side of the page to bring up a side panel. Click on the Settings icon (it looks like a wheel shape) and click on Internet Options.

    2. Go to the Safety menu and select Delete.

  • Internet Explorer 11


    To pick certain websites and delete them from your history:

    1. Move your mouse to the right hand side of the page (or tap on it if you have a touch screen) to bring up a side panel. Tap or click the Favourites button (it lokos like a star). This will bring up a drop-down menu. 

    2. Choose the History tab. Now you can choose how you want to view your history. 'View By Date' shows your last three weeks of history. 'View By Site' shows a list of sites you visited in the last three weeks, but not the dates of your visits. 'View By Most Visited' only shows the sites you visited the most in the last three weeks. 'View By Order Visited Today' only shows sites you've visited today.

    3. Press and hold (or right-click) a site from any of these lists, then tap or click Delete. This will delete the site from your history.

    To delete all your history:

    1. Click the Tools button in the top right of the screen (it looks like a wheel).

    2. Choose Safety, then click Delete browsing history.

    3. Tick each box: Temporary Internet files, Cookies, History, Download History, Form data, Passwords, and Filtering data.

    4. Click on Delete.

  • Safari (often used on Mac computers)

    Resetting Safari clears your history and cookies. At the same time it also clears your downloads, removes any saved usernames and passwords and clears Google or Yahoo search entries.

    1. Go to the Safari menu at top left hand screen.

    2. Click on 'Reset Safari'.

  • Firefox

    1. At the top of the window click on the Firefox button and go to the History menu.  

    2. Click on ‘Clear Recent History’.

    3. A pop up window will appear. Choose a time range to clear from the drop down list. For example, you can just choose to clear the ‘Last Four Hours’.

    4. Click on ‘Clear Now’.

  • Google Chrome

    1. Open Google Chrome.

    2. Click on the Chrome menu icon in the top right hand corner (it looks like three lines).

    3. Choose ‘Tools’.

    4. Click on ‘Clear browsing data’.

    5. A pop up window will appear. Choose a time range to clear from the drop down list. For example, the ‘Last Four Hours’.

    6. Tick all of the boxes.

    7. Click ‘Clear browsing data’.

  • Opera

    1. Go to the 'Tools' menu.

    2. Choose 'Delete Private Data'.

    3. Choose 'Details' or 'Detailed Options'.

    4. Tick all the boxes and click on 'Delete'.

  • 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 ChildLine 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 ChildLine 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.

  • 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 ChildLine website. This could include:

    the pages you are looking at on the ChildLine website
    what you are saying in a 1-2-1 chat or ChildLine email with a counsellor or posting on the message boards.

    If you are worried that what you are doing or saying on the ChildLine website might be being tracked by monitoring software that has been installed on your computer, we suggest you try these ways to use ChildLine:

    phone ChildLine on 0800 1111 if you need to talk to a counsellor
    if you need to view pages or talk to a counsellor on the ChildLine website, 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).

  • 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.

    Find out about the cookies we use on the ChildLine website.

Did this page about covering your tracks help you? If so, tell us how.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Cover your tracks 

Accessibility

We want to make sure everyone can access the information provided on this site

We've put together a few tips and help for you. Please send us a message if you can't find what you're looking for. Or you have a suggestion of something we could include.

Using the keyboard instead of the mouse.
As well as using the tab key to navigate through the screen, the ChildLine website has special access keys:

Alt+S = skip navigation
Alt+1 = home
Alt+0 = accessibility information.

Is the text size too large or too small?
You can change your text settings through your browser options:

In Internet Explorer, go to View > Text size and select your desired text size setting (eg, larger, smaller).

In Firefox, go to View > Text size and increase/decrease using Ctrl and + or -

If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can hold down Ctrl and scroll back or forth to increase or decrease the font size in both IE and Firefox.

Changing your computer screen settings
To change the size of the image shown on your screen on a PC running Windows 95 and upwards, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display > Settings and change the desktop area by using the sliding bar.

On an Apple Mac, you can use the Monitor & Sound Control Panel to change the resolution.

Having difficulty with your keyboard or mouse?
You can fine-tune your mouse and keyboard settings under Start > Settings > Control Panel > Accessibility in Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and XP.

Skipping navigation for talking browsers and screen readers
For speech browsers, you can press Alt and S followed by Enter to skip navigation on our pages.

The site is W3C level A compliant.

 

 

Help

This page contains help and advice.  If you need to contact ChildLine please go to the Talk to us page

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