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.
CLOSING THE WEBSITE QUICKLY
The Childline website has a “Hide page” button on every page. It’ll either be at the top of the screen or on the right-hand side. Press this any time you need to leave quickly and you'll be taken to Google.
Even if you leave the page, someone can use the back button or your browser's history to see what you were looking at. If you’re worried, clear your history and close the browser window after you’ve left.
Deleting your browser history and cookies
Your browser lets you see the internet on your phone or device. Whenever you use your browser, it remembers which sites you've been to, what you've downloaded, and much more. This is called your internet history.
Don't worry, deleting your internet history and cookies isn't difficult. Just follow the steps for whichever internet browser(s) you use. If you're not sure which browser you're using, you can usually find out by finding the 'about' option in your browser's menu.
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.
Worried your device is being tracked?
Online and computer monitoring software (sometimes called tracking software or parental control apps) lets someone see what's happening on a computer. Sometimes parents or guardians will install it on a phone, computer or tablet to block certain websites that may be unsafe or unsuitable for you to use. Apple devices come with Screen Time which monitors how much time you spend on different websites and apps. Screen Time can be turned on and off under settings.
If monitoring software is being used on your device, it means someone might be able to track:
- the pages you're looking at on the Childline website
- calls you make to Childline
- what you're saying in a 1-2-1 counsellor chat, what you type in your locker and what you say on the message boards.
If you’re worried
If you're worried that what you're doing or saying on the Childline website might be being tracked, you can: