Tips to browse safely online

Here you’ll find some basic tips to protect your privacy and reduce the ability for people to see what you do online.

The ‘Close this site’ button

Some pages on this website include a ‘Close this site’ button. Use this button to quickly hide what you are looking at. You might find this helpful if someone comes into the room or looks over your shoulder and you don’t want them to know what you’ve been looking at.

When you use the ‘Close this site’ button, it immediately closes this website and opens the Google search page in a new window.

The ‘Close this site’ button doesn’t delete your browser history. This means that if someone checks your browser history on your computer or mobile device, they will be able to see everything you looked at on our website.

Clear your browsing history regularly

Web browsers keep track of your online activity through your browser history, cookies and caching. This is so you can find websites you’ve visited before, but it also means other people can see this data.

To protect your privacy, it’s a good idea to clear your browsing history regularly. You can choose to delete everything or only some things.

Find out how to clear your browsing history in:

For other browsers and devices, check the provider’s website.

Use private browsing

Private browsing is an easy way to hide your browsing habits. If enabled, when you close your browser, all browsing history and stored cookies from future browsing sessions will automatically disappear.

However, the sites you visited during your current browsing session will record your browsing activity. Your internet service provider will also record this information. Any files you download using private browsing won’t be deleted, so other people can access them if they use your device.

Find out how to enable private browsing in:

For other browsers and devices, check the provider’s website.

Accounts and passwords

Don’t let your browser auto-save your passwords. While the auto-save function may be convenient, it gives anyone who uses your device access to your accounts.

When you are using an account with a password (e.g. your social media or email account), always log out before leaving the website.

Using other computers and devices

If you are worried about someone looking at your internet use, consider using a computer or device that they can’t access.

This might be a computer at your local library, your work computer, or a family or friend’s device. But again, don’t auto-save any passwords and make sure you log out of your accounts when you’ve finished using the computer.