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How To Turn Off Browsing History

How-to-turn-off-browsing-history

Your browsing history indicates all the sites you have visited and may also include the email addresses you use to log in to your accounts and the data you enter into the various online forms. It also contains cookies which identify you every time you return to these sites and hence track you. It may also include images or any other relevant content you may have accessed.

Privacy risks associated with browser history

Even though browsing history is saved on the computer, it is also synchronized across other devices that you might be using. It runs the risk of being accessed by others sharing the devices with you. If your browsing history is saved in the cloud or synced with other devices, it’s particularly vulnerable.

Therefore, it is essential that you take care of your browsing history at all times and take appropriate measures.

Disable your browser from keeping records of your browsing history

The most effective way of safeguarding privacy is to rely on the incognito, or private, mode. A lot of browsers present this option to users.

For instance:

New Incognito Window (Chrome)

New Private Window (Firefox)

Private Browsing Mode (Safari)

When you use either of these options, cookies might be stored but closing the window will delete all cookies, form data, cache, and logs.

Alternatively, you can set up your browser to not record your history at all. Here’s how you can do that across various browsers:

Firefox

Go to Preferences > Privacy & Security. Under Cookies and Site Data, you will find the option to clear existing data.

Under History, you can instruct your browser whether or not to remember your browsing history. You can set it to Never remember history or to always use private browsing mode by default. You can also selectively delete your past history and data.

When you go toCustomize in the hamburger menu (☰), you can also add the Forget button to your browser bar. Tapping on that button will close all tabs and delete all cookies and history from the last five minutes, two hours, or full day.

Chrome

Chrome doesn’t make it easy for you to stop it from recording your browsing history. You can keep it in mind to regularly delete it or get an extension to do this. When it comes to your mobile phone however, you might be left with even fewer configuration options.

You can manage your browser history by going to the vertical ellipses menu (⋮). Then go to Settings > Privacy and Security. Here you can delete your existing data and decide whether you want to accept all cookies, deny third-party cookies, or  outright deny all cookies.

Safari

You can conveniently delete your history by going to History > Clear History, then selecting the time frame. Under Safari > Preferences > Privacy, you can set to block all cookies. On mobile, you’ll find the Block All Cookies button in Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security.

Additionally, Safari also has its own incognito mode, dubbed Private Browsing Mode. Private Browsing Mode means Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or AutoFill information once you close the tab.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser does not record your browsing history and deletes all data every time you exit the browser. The Tor Browser by default connects to the free global proxy network – Tor, which allows you to achieve greater anonymity than most other browsers. Learn about the Tor browser here.

Final Thoughts

You can check out our guide to anonymous browsing to know how you can hide your identity while using the Internet and the 10 browser extensions you can rely on, to protect your privacy.

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