Home Internet Privacy How to hide browser history from your ISP? How to hide browser history from your ISP? by Scott O'Connor/ September 20, 2019/ 3758 Views Most people today are really not concerned about their browsing history which can land them in trouble and the risk of other people accessing their browsing data. While the enforcement of certain controversial broadband-related rules by the Trump administration hasn’t helped either, most users are actively seeking new ways to hide their browsing history completely from their ISPs and governments. However, a lot of people are unable to come across efficient solutions for completely wiping their browsing history or don’t know the appropriate solutions. Here, we aim at educating you about the various ways that can help you remove traces of your online activities. Delete Internet Explorer history: Click on Delete Browser History option in Tools OR click on the gear icon located on the top, select Internet Options and then click on Delete. In the Delete Browsing History tab, check the boxes describing the data you want to be removed. This makes sure that everything ranging from the passwords or data you typed in a form, gets deleted. Additionally, if you have Safari installed and want to get rid of it, here is how you can Delete Safari. Delete Google Chrome history: To clear the local browsing history from the computer storage in Chrome, click on the top-right icon and then History. You will be able to view the local history of all the web searches and pages you visited. In case, you have conducted searches on another computer system, they won’t be showing up here, unless you are signed in Google. When you’re signed into Google, all your history is available for you to see, including most of your devices. However, when you press the Clear Browsing Data button and remove your history that way, only the local history gets removed. In the clear browsing dialog, you need to select the time frame for any data you want to be deleted, ranging from the past hour to the beginning of time, with a number of options in between. You will now need to check the boxes for the kind of data, you want to be deleted – browsing the history, download history, cookies, cached images, auto-fill data and even content licenses that you’ve been granted on the many websites you visit. Delete online web search history: Once you have taken care of your online search history, it’s time to cater to the online stuff. Like most people, you must be using an online email service such as Yahoo, Google, Outlook, Yandex or something similar – all of whom have search engines of their own. Therefore, while you’re logged in to these services. For instance, if you use Chrome at the same time as Google, all of your searches will get recorded by Google online too – available at https://history.google.com/history/ Only you can see this web history, sure. But it’s still there, and you may be concerned about someone else accessing it. To delete this history, you need to select all of these items individually and then click Remove items. 4 Steps to anonymous browsing & anonymous search: Apart from deleting history, there are several other measures that you can undertake to safeguard your online presence and hide browser history to stop someone from spying. Use your browser’s Privacy mode: Your browsing history is automatically saved whenever you use a computer at a public place. You can easily avoid this by using the “incognito mode” offered by most browsers. Almost, all modern browsers have private browsing modes which do not track your activity. Doing so, blocks any third party cookies tracking your activity. Moreover, when you select this mode, cookies kept by the site as proof of your presence are also wiped off when you leave the site. This is called Incognito mode in Chrome, InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer and private browsing in Firefox and Safari. You could still be tracked by the websites you visit, but your search history or any cache files are not stored. However, it must be noted that when you log in to a service like Google or Facebook while in private mode, it would defeat the purpose since you would still be recorded and tracked. Therefore, it is best to use the private mode for sites you don’t want anyone else to know about so that you don’t end up with any traces of your activity. Restrict browser from sending location details: Often, the browser locates you at a certain place and then transmits that information to the site you visit, which is then retained to show you more targeted and personalized search results. It can also be used to enhance the ads being displayed by the advertisers. This can be avoided by simply refusing the location request sent out by the browser whenever you visit a site, which can be done through the following steps: Google Chrome: Go to preferences – Settings – Advanced – Content settings. Now select the option to disallow. Safari: Go to Preferences – Privacy – Select ‘Disable location services’ Mozilla Firefox: Write “about:config” in the URL bar and then “geo.enabled”. Microsoft Edge: You can turn off the location requests from your computer settings. Then, go to Privacy and chose the location option and turn off Microsoft Edge. Get rid of Google Tracking: Google facilitates Internet users through a good number of utilities – Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Translate, Google Maps, and many others. With all of these one-click, easily accessible add-ons, we can easily get our tasks done, but it can also prove to be detrimental. Google tracks our activities through the tasks we perform on such utilities in a bid to personalize our search results and display interruptive advertisements. This problem can be easily avoided by turning off Ad Personalization. Block Local Sites from tracking you: It is incredibly easy for social media sites to track your interests as you voluntarily hand over that information on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc. This can be done by avoiding the personalized ads on these social networking sites. You can follow these steps to opt out of it: Facebook: You can go to Facebook Settings – Adverts and control how ads are targeted to you. Twitter: Go to Settings – Security & Privacy. Now, uncheck the “Tailor Ads” box LinkedIn: Go to Privacy and Settings – Accounts – Managing Advertising Preferences Following these steps can stop personalized ads from appearing. Use Ad Blocker Plugins to block all tracking activities: Other privacy issues: Once you have cleared your local search histories and have begun searching in the private browsing mode, do you become safe from someone who aims to take a peek at what you’re doing? The answer, unfortunately, is, NO! There are still a number of other issues which most people are not aware of. Here are some of the other privacy issues, which still don’t go away even when you have dealt with the browsing history but you should be aware of them. What is ISP Tracking? When you perform a search from your computer, it goes through your ISP first and they have the ability to tap into whatever data they want. If you are performing a search on Google, the ISP can’t see anything since the connection is secure (HTTPS) and thus, encrypted. However, your DNS queries can be seen by your ISP i.e. URLs typed in the web browser. Moreover, if you happen to be on a non-encrypted site, the ISP can also view all of your content. Why is Your ISP Tracking You? Legally, the internet service providers – ISPs are obligated to collect their user’s data via tracking so that the law enforcement agencies can acquire it if need be. Why Should You Care? Usually, ISP tracking should not be a problem since ISPs can’t spy on you legally or see what you are up to unless they are asked to give up certain information through a legal subpoena. However, if you are into downloading pirated movies and music through torrents illegally, you may end up getting a DMCA notice or one from your ISP urging you to stop or be prepared to face dire consequences. How to Stop Your ISP from Tracking You? The only way to beat the ISPs is to use advanced cyber-security services such as a VPN – Virtual Private Network. Usually, you get to hear about VPNs in the context of corporate security, when employees connect to their networks securely. But, the use of VPNs has become pervasive when it comes to individuals. A VPN successfully circumvents ISP tracking by encrypting all of the data you are sending over your network. You are assigned an IP address other than your usual one for this purpose. Not only is your data encrypted and your ISP can’t see your activity, but your location is also anonymized, thus hiding your real location from the sites you are visiting. Tweet Pin It About The Author Scott O'Connor Scott is a cyber-security professional. He's been writing in the internet privacy niche for a while now and has churned variety of informational pieces to educate his audience. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and IG.