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Resolved Question

How to permanently delete browsing history?

by edweather / October 4, 2013 8:35 AM PDT

I know this has probably been discussed ad infinitum, but figured I'd just ask the question, and do some research in the mean time. Please steer me in the right direction.

Running Windows 7 and IE10. I know how to delete the browsing history with "internet option tools", but is it permanently deleted? Would like to permanently delete. Thanks. Ed.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by edweather

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That's scary...
by edweather / October 4, 2013 2:16 PM PDT

....but I wasn't really talking outside entities keeping info.

More like just making sure that the browsing history wasn't recoverable after it was deleted. Can someone with above average computer skills still find the info? Isn't there some freeware out there that will delete and overwrite?? Thanks. Ed.

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That depends
by Jimmy Greystone / October 4, 2013 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: That's scary...

That depends on who might some day come looking. If it's just the average person, maybe even the average IT professional, simply deleting the history via the browser is enough. If you're really paranoid, I think everyone has copied Firefox's Private Browsing mode by now, where basically the browser doesn't even store history or anything like that. If you're really paranoid about privacy, you shouldn't be using IE or even Chrome. IE is made by Microsoft, which tends to default to permitting anything and everything until it comes back to bite them and Google may have made its start as a search engine, but these days makes the bulk of its money off of advertising. I don't have any hard evidence that Chrome does anything untoward on its own, but it is tied pretty heavily into Google's other services, which in turn serve up plenty of text based ads and the like. Firefox is the only independent browser out there for the most part.

Anyway, short of someone who is specifically looking to recover your browsing history, which is probably very few people, simply deleting it is fine. It's pretty much impossible to completely keep it from someone who's determined and skilled enough to get it. Just think of it this way. Using yourself as an example, do you know how to recover a deleted file? Now, of all the people who might access your computer, rate their skill relative to your own. How many do you think might be able to recover a deleted file, if they had the time, motive and opportunity? We'll ignore some of the JavaScript methods websites can use to grab this info, because there's not a whole lot you can do about that short of an extension like NoScript. There's nothing even remotely as effective for IE or Chrome, making the matter kind of moot.

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Thanks.
by edweather / October 5, 2013 12:28 AM PDT
In reply to: That depends

Thanks Jim. Appreciate it! We're kinda stuck with IE. Might be able to download Firefox. Will have to check on that. Ed.

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Answer
IE10.
by Dafydd Forum moderator / October 4, 2013 8:39 AM PDT

In tools, I set mine to delete on closing.

Dafydd.

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That's what I do...
by edweather / October 4, 2013 2:11 PM PDT
In reply to: IE10.

I also have mine set to delete on closing.

Wasn't sure if someone could still dig that info out of the computer, or if it was really permanently was deleted.

Thanks. Ed.

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browsing history
by shubs000 / May 14, 2014 9:56 PM PDT
In reply to: That's what I do...

hi Ed

unfortunately it can not be permanently deleted.

on start menu, type cmd (command prompt)
then type : ipconfig/displaydns


this command would bring up browsing history that was actually deleted previously.

if you have found a way to permanently delete please share.

thanks

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That's not browsing history
by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2014 10:40 PM PDT
In reply to: browsing history

That's not browsing history, exactly, it's just a list of domains that have been resolved. It will likely include plenty of sites you never explicitly visited along with those you did. I would also presume that the /flushdns option to ipconfig would clear that out, since it's designed to clear the DNS cache, which is what you would be displaying.

Of course as has already been discussed in this thread, that only takes care of records on YOUR computer. There are still plenty of records existing on every other server your system has ever communicated with. The Internet was not designed to be anonymous or even all that secure, despite its military origins. The only real way to be truly anonymous on the Internet is to not be on the Internet.

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Dns cache
by bob b / May 15, 2014 3:40 AM PDT
In reply to: browsing history

Turn it off.
Flush the cache.
Test.

Do you see a perf diff?
I don't so I just leave it off.
One less feature to break and give me a headache.

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why would they need to, especially at work?
by James Denison / May 15, 2014 11:42 AM PDT
In reply to: That's what I do...

all they need is to check the router logs. That gives every site that was visited and by what computer.

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Answer
Not really
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 4, 2013 8:48 AM PDT

As evidenced in the news our governments, ISPs and such log such things. It's unclear how to make them forget such today.
Bob

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