Getting Rid of Traces of Private Data Left Behind on your Devices
A great deal of information – including potentially sensitive information – is recorded by your web browser and remains on your devices, whether your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, sometimes for a very long time.
Clearing Web Browser History
When you visit a website, conduct a search, watch a video, add a bookmark, install an app or download an item, your web browser automatically retains a potentially long-lasting record of that activity on your device. Anyone with access to your device could find these records and perhaps use them against you.
Top Tip – We are now talking about device (offline) privacy risks, which are different from the risks of online tracking and profiling and monitoring of your activities by IP address. The issues discussed here come from your devices themselves, whether or not you have been online. These offline history trace risks also exist even if you use anonymizing services such as a VPN when web browsing or torrenting.
Obviously, these kinds of records could lead to a number of problems from the relatively minor (potential embarrassment from activities and interests you’d rather keep confidential) to the serious (workplace discipline, matrimonial problems, identity theft, forms of blackmail or worse).
Clearing History from Apps and Windows Too
However, your web browser is not the only source of trace information being left behind on your device that can give away your activities and habits. You may not even realize it, but your device’s operating system and apps also keep detailed records of your activities.
You trust your devices with your most private activities and items. Sometimes you might not even realize you’re storing sensitive information on your device. Anyone with access to your device could quickly find out all manner of things about you and perhaps use that information against you.
You might be surprised to learn how easy it is for anyone with access to your devices to uncover this kind of information. We’ll also outline how forensic software apps can be used to reveal hidden information on your devices.
Learn about why you should worry about these risks and how to go about clearing history records from your web browser, apps and operating system.