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Whenever surfing to sites on the internet, many traces of "where" one has surfed are being recorded on the same computer. So, if a surfer does not want to leave such "traces" after surfing, then the surfer will want to do some "cleaning" of their computer after getting off the internet.

Clear History (of surfed URLs)
Clear Address List (of typed URLs)
Empty the Cache folders (et al)
Clear "My Documents" History


Get Window Washer software







Clear History

A browser's History list records all the URLs where the surfer has surfed.
  • In IE3 or IE4, select VIEW | OPTIONS, click the button "CLEAR HISTORY".
  • In Netscape3, it automatically clears the History folder when the program is closed down. In Netscape 4, select EDIT | PREFERENCES, then select Navigator (category), then click "Clear History" button.

    In v.4 of both IE and Netscape, the number of days that pages are kept in HISTORY folder can/should be set to 0 (zero).

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    Clear Address List

    URLs displayed in the URL-address bar at the top of the browser window are also a form of "history" list, recording all URLs that the surfer has hand-typed into the browser.

    In either IE3 or IE4, clearing the History folder (as shown above) also clears the Address list.

    Netscape (v.3, 4, etc), however, does not let it be that easy. Yet, a surfer can otherwise choose to simply not use the list in the first place! If a surfer types in a URL at the Open Location dialog box (<Ctrl>-L in N3 and <Ctrl>-o in N4), the address won't be recorded in the list!

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    Empty the Cache folders (et al)

    Browsers also leave a complete trail of surfing activity in the CACHE FOLDER (Netscape) or Temproary Internet Folder (Internet Explorer). These are the temporary storage areas for visited pages and images. (The purpose for their existence is so that surfers can more quickly view web-sites to which they have surfed beforehand.)

    But if a surfer doesn't mind requiring their browser to load all images (and the like) every time they return back to web-sites, then there is no problem whatsoever with clearing the cache folders.

    The exact location of the cache folder depends on decisions the surfer made when originally installing the browser. If the recommended defaults were accepted at the original installation, then the following would likely be the locations.

    To empty the caches

    • In N4, select EDIT | PREFERENCES, select Advanced (category), then select Cache (sub-category), and click both the Clear Memory Cache and Clear Disk Cache buttons.
    • In IE, select VIEW | INTERNET OPTIONS, select General tab, click Delete Files button.

    As well, a user may also use Windows 95's Explorer to delete the cache folder's contents.

    IE also employs yet another folder for caching purposes, as well:

       C:\Windows\Temp\

    That folder is used to temporarily "save" files being used, often such web-files that emply programming code (such as Java, Javascript, etc). This folder should also be cleared.

    NOTE, however, that these methods listed here of deleting the files in the cache folders are not "secure deletes" of these cached files. To otherwise perform such a "secure delete", a user will need to open the folders and use a "secure delete" software program.

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    Empty the Documents history

    Another thing tracing a user's computer activity is the Documents history list. This is the list of files that is found by Windows 95 (etc) START button, Documents ("My Documents").

    In Windows 95 (etc.), a "shortcut" (".LNK" file) is being automatically created for every "document" which is used/"entered". The list of those created "shortcuts" is being generated in that "My Documents" list.

    The actual folder of "My Documents" is located on the hard-drive at:

       C:\WINDOWS\Recent\

    The files in "My Documents" can also be cleared. (NOTE, however, that some "secure delete" software --- BCwipe, for one example --- will not permit such "secure deletes" of "My Documents" folder (or of IE's "Temporary Internet Folder"). But others --- such as Mutilate and Syncrypt --- are able to perform such "secure deletes" there.

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    Get Window Washer software


    Special Software to do these things!
    Window Washer will wash (and even "bleach", meaning "secure delete") all of these matters!

    That company has a free download that will work only as long as the user's computer's system clock is within the 30 days that file was installed for the first-time. Users who purchase the software obtain even more tools to perform.

    This is not an advertisement for Window Washer, but rather, it is simply a recommendation for an effective tool.



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