Can anyone see that I’ve used Childline?
Whenever you visit a website it leaves a record on your device. Your device might save:
- small bits of information called cookies to help the website remember you
- a record of the visit to the site in your internet history
- data from the website, to help it load faster each time you visit
- passwords and usernames you save.
If someone has access to your phone, computer or device then they might be able to use this information to see whether you've used Childline. But there are ways to remove this information.
The 'hide page' button
When viewing the Childline website on a desktop, every page on our website has a blue 'Hide page' button on the right hand side. When you click this, you'll be immediately taken to Google's homepage. This feature isn't available on mobile phones or other devices.
If you're 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.
Deleting your browser history and cookies
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 are 2 things you need to do to clear your history:
- Delete all cookies
A cookie is a piece of information your computer and websites use to remember where you've been online.
- Clear your history
Of all the websites you've visited.
Private browsing is when you tell your browser not to save any history, cookies or temporary files after you close the window. If you use it before your visit to Childline, it won’t be saved in your history.
If your phone or device has monitoring software installed, someone still might be able to see what you’re doing, so it’s important to be careful.
Private browsing also won’t delete any bookmarks you create or files you download.
Before your visit, here's how to set up private browsing to keep your visit hidden.
Online, computer and phone monitoring software
Online and computer monitoring software helps someone see what’s happening on their computer. Sometimes parents or guardians will install monitoring software on a phone, computer or tablet to:
- make sure you're staying safe online
- help protect you from online bullying and online grooming
- block certain websites that may be unsafe or unsuitable for you to use.
Unfortunately, some monitoring software or apps can track what someone's doing on the Childline website or when they phone Childline. This could include:
If you're worried
If you're worried that what you're doing or saying on the Childline website might be being tracked by monitoring software that's been installed on your computer, you can use a different phone to speak to Childline on 0800 1111 – it’s free from any type of device.