When you visit a web site then later visit another web site, your web browser keeps a history of these sites. You can see this history by going to your browser’s menu and clicking on History.
In the past this history was private because it exists only on your PC. But recently it’s been proven that it’s possible for web sites to get a peek into your browser history. This could be a privacy concern for some people. Here’s how it works.
Some people have come up with some clever code they can place on their site. It basically asks your browser if you’ve visited a particular site before. For a demonstration click here and click on the Get Started link in the centre. Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen, it’s just a demonstration.
So how does this affect you?
You just need to be aware that privacy on the internet is fairly limited these days. If you have something to hide (for whatever reason) or you’d just like a bit more privacy, there are steps you can take to prevent this. It’s a bit technical for beginners but with a bit of effort it’s achievable.
- Some browsers now have a “privacy” mode. For example, Google Chrome calls it “incognito”. Privacy mode doesn’t keep track of which sites you’ve been to.
- You can use Firefox and install something called the “NoScript addon”. This will block the code I mentioned above.