Created: 28 Jan 2000 ::: Last updated: 14 Oct 2007
Applies to: Win95 Win98 WinMe Win 2000/NT WinXP WinVista MacOS
By Andy Walker
OK, so perhaps you stumbled onto one or two adult Web sites. Perhaps by accident. Perhaps on purpose. And you don't want your husband/wife, dad/mom or anyone else to know you've been there. Here's some frequently asked questions and answers on how to deal with the situation.
IN A HURRY? If you need to wipe your PC of adult content now, then wipe your system now with Evidence Eliminator or check out our list of other instant computer wiper programs, otherwise please continue for help on how to clear your system manually with our step-by-step guide.
Question: Can someone tell that I've been to a particular web site?
Answer: Yes. Most browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer save images from websites you have visited on your hard drive whether you click on them or not so that next time you visit you won't have to re-download the image. But this means that many megabytes of images of all types get saved to you hard drive. Put it this way, if you saw the image then it's on your hard drive.
Browsers also store visited web site addresses in the pull down address bar. If switched on, the AutoComplete function will type out previously visited sites if you type the first few letters of the address. It's designed to save time, but if you have visited, lets say, www.yummysexpots.com and someone uses the computer after you and wants to go to Yahoo and they type in www.y the browser will auto-suggest www.yummysexpots.com, which you may not want.
To learn how to turn AutoComplete off, see the next page for the question that addresses that problem specifically.
Question: So how do I cover my tracks?
Answer: Two choices. You can do it manually yourself (see page 2) or you can use a software solution, which is faster and easier (see next question).
Question: I don't want to do it manually, what software is there?
Answer: Check out Evidence Eliminator, a very smart and thorough product that will save you from doing it all manually. It cleans not only your browser, but registry and swap disk. It also wipes lists kept by Windows of files viewed. There's also a way to clear movies viewed in Windows Media Player.
If you are looking for a more basic cleaner, look at these pornography scanners and cleaners.
Question: Will these software products get rid of everything?
Answer: Evidence Eliminator will. It's also advisable to use a spyware cleaner. Porn sites tend to download hidden stuff to your computer which pops up as ads or XXX dialers later. This can be very embarrassing, as you can imagine. Just as a matter of course we recommend using a spyware cleaner on a regular basis, just as you would use an anti-virus program.
Be sure to scan with a good spyware cleaner like Spyware Sweeper and use it after every session where you have been surfing for porn.
We also suggest you use Content Cleaner for deleting your tracks after such a session. It has good flesh tone detection tool for finding X-rated pictures.
Question: I want to learn to do it manually, please help?
Answer: Here's how to clear out the images and the visited web addresses:
- For Internet Explorer, version 4 through 6.0, click on the Tools menu and then click on the Internet Options item. A dialog box will pop up. Click "Delete Files" to get rid of cached images. A cached image is a picture from a web page automatically saved to the hard drive. Normally these are either GIF or JPG files (something like girl.jpg or girl.gif),but they could also be PNG files as well, though these are relatively rare. To erase visited web addresses so that they don't appear in the address pulldown menu at the top of the browser, click the "Clear History" button. You should also remove your IE cookies files.
- For Internet Explorer, version 7, click on the Tools menu and then click on the Delete Browsing History item. A dialog box will pop up. Click "Delete Files" to get rid of cached images. A cached image is a picture from a web page automatically saved to the hard drive. Normally these are either GIF or JPG files (something like girl.jpg or girl.gif),but they could also be PNG files as well. To erase visited web addresses so that they don't appear in the address pulldown menu at the top of the browser, click the "Clear history" button. You should also remove your cookie files by clicking "Delete Cookies". However this will wipe out all your cookies including any that save user ID and password for membership sites or Internet banking. This just tells the browser to forget the user ID and password, not the actual banking or membership site. Click Delete forms to get rid of anything that has been saved in an online form field that may get suggested in a dropdown box when you encounter a form field.
- For Mozilla Firefox, version 2.0, click the Tools menu and then "Clear Private Data" and check the boxes of the items you want cleared. Cache is where images and saved content web pages are kept. More detailed control of your deletion of this items can be managed by clicking the Tools menu then "Options" then the Privacy item across the top of the dialog box.
- For Netscape Navigator, version 6, click on the Edit menu and then click on the Preferences item. A dialog box will pop up. Click the arrow next to "Navigator" in the box on the left so that it lists subtopics. Click on the subtopic called "History" then on the right click the "Clear History" button. Also click the "Clear Location Bar" button. This will get rid of previously visited all web addresses as well as those concealed in the location pull down menu at the top of the browser window. To to get rid of cached images, select "Advanced" and then reveal the subtopics by clicking the arrow next to "Advanced". Then click "Cache". On the left click both "Clear Memory Cache" to clear images from the current browser session. Click "Clear Disk Cache" to remove image as from the cache folder on the hard drive. You should also remove your Netscape cookies files.
Question: How do I figure out which web browser I am using?
Answer: Start your web browser, the same one you used to visited the site. Click the "Help" menu at the top of your screen and then in the list that drops down click on "About" It may say "About Internet Explorer" or "About Netscape" or "About Mozilla Firefox". Choose that option and the web browser's name and version will be displayed. Keep a note of it.
Question: I visited a search engine and now all the search terms I type in are saved and pop up each time I go back to the page. How do I clear it?
Answer: In Microsoft Internet Explorer, 5.5 and 6.0 click the Tools menu, then Internet Options then the Content tab then the AutoComplete button. Next click the Clear Forms button. Sometimes this doesn't work. If not, you have to clear your index.dat file.
Question: The AutoComplete function is a pain. How do I turn it off?
In Internet Explorer 5 and later versions it can be turned off by going to the Tools menu and choosing Internet Options. Then choose the Content tab from the dialog box that pops up and click the "AutoComplete" button and uncheck the web addresses box and click "Ok". In Netscape 6, click the "Edit" menu and then "Preferences". Then select "Navigator" and click the arrow to the left til a list of suboptions appears. Then click "Smart Browsing" and uncheck "Enable Location Bar autocomplete". Then click "Ok".
In Mozilla Firefox it can be turned off by going to the Tools menu and choosing Options. Then choose the Privacy tab at the top of the dialog box. and uncheck the "Remember what I typed in in forms and the search bar."
Question: How do I remove my cookies file in Internet Explorer?
Question: How do I remove my cookies file in Netscape?