Covering your online tracks

For some people, contacting Crime Stoppers or even visiting our website may put them at risk.

Perhaps they have a violent partner, or maybe they live on the criminal fringe. Whatever the reason, there are steps that can be taken to protect yourself from harm when you have something to confidentially share with us.

Don’t forget that while Crime Stoppers strips all your metadata if you send us information online, and our ‘quick exit’ button on the website let’s you immediately escape, that doesn’t mean that someone who has access to your computer can’t go into your history and see what you’ve been doing online.

So, if you’re worried about someone knowing you have visited our website, then there’s some simple steps for you to consider.

Ultimately, the safest way to use the internet privately is to do it in a safe place. That might be in the local library, at a friend’s house, school or even work. But don’t forget that if you are using a public computer it’s not enough to simply close a browser window or type in another address.

Programs like Web Mail and Instant Messenger include automatic login features that will automatically save your username and password. So make sure you disable that before logging in to ensure that no one can log in as you once you’re finished.

The other thing to remember is that internet browsers save particular information as you surf the internet. That can include images from websites you may have visited, particular words you have entered into a search engine and a history of sites you have visited. You can clear that history and cache through your browser settings to prevent people finding out which websites you have visited.

Google Chrome
Click the tool wrench icon in the upper-right corner of the toolbar and from the dropdown menu select “Clear Browsing Data”, or Push Ctrl + Shift + Del together, and clear history.
Use the checkboxes to select the data you want to clear. By using the “Clear data from this period” option you can specify the period for which you want the data cleared.
Finally click the “Clear Browsing Data” button.

Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy.
Now select from the option to clear your recent history or remove individual cookies.

Internet Explorer 7
Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
In the General page under Browser History, select the Delete button.
Either then select and delete each section listed, choosing from: Temporary internet files; Cookies, History; Forms data and Passwords; or select the Delete All button to clear everything.