Web washers: Programs to cover your online tracks - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Web washers: Programs to cover your online tracks

(WMC-TV) - It doesn't take a hacker to see what you have been up to online.

Anyone can search your web history in your web browser.  It's even easier in the search box, because most have an auto-complete feature that fills in the history for you, leading to what can be uncomfortable situations.

"For example, if you are doing a job search on a computer that your boss is going to see later," said Benji Hughes of Memphis.

"You're Googling something like flowers and something completely different pops up, like a porn site or something," said Samantha Stevens of Memphis.

Covering the surface of those tracks is easy and already built in to your computer.

"There are things that are built in to programs like Internet Explorer and the common web browsers that will delete a lot of that information," said Jeff Horton with One Point Solutions Group.

In Internet Explorer, you can wipe away previously visited sites by clicking on "Tools," then "Internet Options," then "Delete Files" and "Clear History."

If you really want to wipe away your online footprint, products called web washers will hit deep into the guts of your computer, where privacy matters most.

"When you delete information from your computer, it's not enough to delete it just once," said Horton.  "If you want to really remove information from your computer, you have to overwrite it several times."

Horton recommended a free program called C-Cleaner, which works for Windows and Mac.  It does not delete the information for good, but it does keep the casual web user from prying eyes.

"It's not the kind of thing where the average Joe would be able to go and run a program and recover the information and put it together," said Horton.  "It takes someone relatively skilled to be able to go in and do that."

To block those skilled snoopers, you will need a web shredder, or a high-powered and more expensive washer that uses more complex methods to permanently delete your history.

Consumer Reports recommends Evidence Eliminator at $135, or White Canyon at a more affordable $50.

Consumer Reports said most of these web washers merely simplify a process that is available through your browser's advanced settings.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • McDonald's customers sue over paying for cheese on burgers

    McDonald's customers sue over paying for cheese on burgers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 6:35 AM EDT2018-05-27 10:35:01 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 6:35 AM EDT2018-05-27 10:35:01 GMT
    The plantiffs claim McDonald's has been overcharging them because they have been paying for cheese they didn't want nor receive. (Source: Flickr)The plantiffs claim McDonald's has been overcharging them because they have been paying for cheese they didn't want nor receive. (Source: Flickr)

    The plaintiffs claim McDonald's has been "unjustly enriched" because customers have been paying for cheese they don't want.

    The plaintiffs claim McDonald's has been "unjustly enriched" because customers have been paying for cheese they don't want.

  • Grieving couple unable to cremate stillborn, conjoined infants due to NC law

    Grieving couple unable to cremate stillborn, conjoined infants due to NC law

    Sunday, May 27 2018 2:24 AM EDT2018-05-27 06:24:37 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 2:24 AM EDT2018-05-27 06:24:37 GMT
    A North Carolina law on cremation procedures forbids the cremation of more than one person within the same cremation chamber. (Source: WRAL/CNN)A North Carolina law on cremation procedures forbids the cremation of more than one person within the same cremation chamber. (Source: WRAL/CNN)

    A North Carolina law on cremation procedures forbids the cremation of more than one person within the same cremation chamber.

    A North Carolina law on cremation procedures forbids the cremation of more than one person within the same cremation chamber.

  • Water moccasin invades home, puts family into action

    Water moccasin invades home, puts family into action

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:57 PM EDT2018-05-25 18:57:52 GMT
    This water moccasin entered a family's home. (Photo courtesy Krystal King)This water moccasin entered a family's home. (Photo courtesy Krystal King)

    An unwelcome visitor was cause for some tense moments and quick action in the King household Saturday morning. Krystal King says it was about 7 a.m. when Stephen, her oldest son, came into his parents' room to notify them about the "big snake in the bathroom."

    An unwelcome visitor was cause for some tense moments and quick action in the King household Saturday morning. Krystal King says it was about 7 a.m. when Stephen, her oldest son, came into his parents' room to notify them about the "big snake in the bathroom."

Powered by Frankly