Your computer saves all your activity (programs your run, documents you edited, web sites you visited) into your hard disk. Anyone using your computer can see where you have been on Internet, what images and movies you have seen, and even anything you have done on your computer could be seen by others.
Every time you open a browser to view a web page, order something online, or read your email in a web based viewer that information is stored on your computer for later use. Whether you are viewing the weather online, reading sports, catching up on the latest world news or viewing something a little more private, all that information is stored in your computer. Windows operating systems store all this material in what are called Temporary Internet Files or cache. Web pages may store bits of information about who you are when you visit web sites in files called cookies on your computer. Your web browser will store a list of web sites you've visited and places you've gone in a history file in your computer. Even if you are not online, programs will store histories of the files you've opened, played, or viewed. To remove all these usage tracks you must perfrom the Internet cleanup.
Why do I perform Internet cleanup?
Performing Internet cleanup will let you get rid of the Internet usage tracks: browsing history (after you viewed web site page, ie will store the web page links into system file, and it can store many days link history), temporary interent files (When you view any web site page, IE have already stored all page content into your harddisk. This features of IE let ie no need re-download the same page when you want to see the page. But this features show all your privacy about what's site and content you have visited.), cookies (Many Web sites send a cookie file to your pc when you first go to their site. Using the cookie can keep track of your activity.), typed URLs (When you typed web site urls in browser address edit, windows will record them in system.), autocomplete (When you type text in any web page form, IE will store them in system, such as keywords you input into a search engine, the usrname and password you input into a email service site.), etc. You will need an Internet Cleanup Utility to perform the cleanup. Though there are many Internet cleanup software that requires payment you can find a few free tools offering good functionality.
Below are the screenshots of the tracks you can leave after you finished surfing the Net:
What cleanup utility should I use?
UnH Solutions offers you free and simple solution - IE Privacy Keeper. IE Privacy Keeper will take care of Internet cleanup for you. It will securely erase temporary internet files (cache), browsing history, auto complete history, typed URLs (address bar), cookies, download manager history. The program handles Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox history. One of the main feature of the program is the ability to perform the cleanup automatically when you close your browser or close any custom application.
The program can also cleanup your system (offline) activity: temporary files, Windows Open/Dave history, Run History, Recent Documents, Recycle Bin items, MRU (most recently used files lists). You can even specify your own files and folders to cleanup.
IE Privacy Keeper can erase files securely preventing their recovery at a later time. After IE Privacy Keeper is done securely cleaning up your PC, it will be very hard (if possible at all) to recover the deleted items.
How do I conceal the fact of the Internet cleanup?
IE Privacy Keeper has features to conceal the fact of the cleanup: you can select what items to keep while performing the cleanup. The selected items will not be deleted. For example, you can keep certain History pane records, cookies or typed URLs. Thus, the program will delete only the records you want to be deleted.
Does IE Privacy Keeper handles the index.dat files?
Yes, the program can erase index.dat files for temporary internet files (cache), cookies and browsing history. The utility cleans up the index.dat files in a special way that does not damage IE cache and does not require a Windows restart.
How do I protect my PC from Adware/Spyware?
If you're a novice computer user you can use Microsoft's AntiSpyware to protect yourself from various malware. If you are an experienced computer user, then the best choice for you is Browser Sentinel. Browser Sentinel gives you a complete control over the programs running on your PC: executables, DLLs, plugins, ActiveX, etc. Furthermore, Browser Sentinel protects your home page and search page.
Also, when visiting web sites you don't trust, you can use Flash and Pics Control to increase the security settings of Internet Explorer (cookies, Java Script and Applets, ActiveX).