How do they know what I looked at online?
Worried because someone in your personal life knows more about what you’ve been looking at online than you want them to? There’s a step you should take right now to protect your privacy.
Copy the link to this page (it’s up at the top of this browser window, and starts https://www.keepcalmlogon.com), then open a private or incognito browsing window. Paste the link into the private or incognito window at the top of the browser, and keep browsing from there.
For everything you want to view privately, keep using new windows in private or incognito mode.
One more step: clear your browser history. Here’s how to do that in the most common browsers.
Stay in private browsing all the time
If you don’t want to have to remember to open a private or incognito window every time you surf the web, here are a couple of web browsers you should use instead of Chrome, Edge, Safari, or your other usual browser:
How private windows are NOT going to protect you
Private and incognito browsing will not stop people from seeing what you post on social media, or in other public places.
It will not protect you if you work at a job that monitors your internet traffic, and the person you want to hide from is your boss, company IT staff, law enforcement, or other higher-ups at your company.
If you need to get out of an abusive relationship or family situation
Tracking a partner or family member’s web use is often a part of an abusive pattern.
If you need help getting out of an abusive situation, open a private/incognito window and have a look at:
RAINN’s resources for survivors of rape, abuse, and incest
Hotlines from the US Government Office of Women’s Health
Chayn’s resources for survivors in the UK, India, Pakistan, and Italy
DayOne’s resources for younger people suffering abuse in the New York City area
A state-by-state list of resources for LGBTQI young people, from the Ali Forney Center