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Protect your privacies by cleaning up history records

When you surf on the internet or run certain applications on your computer, Windows will silently compile a very comprehensive record of you and your online activities whether you know it or not. It provides chances for others to peak your privacies especially when you are on a shared or public computer. Therefore knowing how to clear the traces left behind on a computer is important to prevent your privacies being disclosed.

First let us explore what kinds of histories are recorded by Windows.

•   Browser History 每 stores every website you have visited and can be easily accessed through your browser.
•   Internet Cache 每 stores data from the web pages you visited.
•   Autocomplete form history 每 stores everything you type in a web page, including your name, email, credit card information, passwords, etc.
•   Cookies 每 files that a web site creates and stores on your computer. They are used by certain websites to know your name, shopping preferences and other information about you. Though most cookies are harmless, they do create a problem for your privacy.
•   Index.dat files 每 contain records of all your online activities, including internet histories, cache, and cookies. Because an Index.dat file is used by Windows all the time, removing it is not a easy job. Most users have to rely on privacy cleaning software to delete such files.
•   Windows temporary files 每 created by Windows and programs on your computer. Windows temporary files not only reveal your privacy, but also get more and more clustered to occupy valuable disk space. For example, even when a program is uninstalled, the temp files created by the program will still be there.
•   Windows search history - After you have searched for an item using Windows Explorer, Windows will automatically keep a record of the search. And this search history will be visible to anyone who begins a new search.
•   Recent documents 每 files and documents you have recently opened and worked with.
•   Recently run programs 每 Programs you have recently run.

How to clean the histories above?

As history records are stored in many different places, cleaning them all will be a time-consuming job. Sometimes you may even forget to clean some of your important privacies. The easiest way for a complete privacy clean is to use a privacy cleaner. WinASO Registry Optimizer has a free but powerful privacy cleaner built-in. It categorized the history records into three groups: Windows, browsers and applications. You are allowed to choose the ones to clean or keep by yourself, or just clean them all.

If you want to clean histories by yourself, here're some tips for cleaning browser and Toolbar histories.

Clean visited sites and search histories in IE 7.0
 Select "Tools" -> "Internet Options".
 Open "General" Tab.
 In "Browsing history" area, click on "Delete".
 In "Delete Browsing History" window, click on "Delete All" to clean all history records, including visited sites, internet temporary files, cookies, forms, passwords, etc, or delete them one by one as you like.

Clean visited sites and search histories in Firefox 2.0
 Select "Tools" -> "Options" -> "Privacy".
 Click "Clear Now".
 In "Clear Private Data" window, check "Browsing History" and "Saved form and search history" and click on "Clear Private Data Now".

Clean Google Toolbar search histories
 Click on the Google logo on the Toolbar to access the dropdown menu.
 Select "Clear Search History".

Clean Yahoo Toolbar search histories
 Click on "Settings" or pencil icon.
 Select "Clear Recent Searches".

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