A little something called your computer’s history

You don’t have to be an IT expert these days to know about a little something called your computer’s history. Back when the Internet was first being explored by us commoners, the intricacies of our activity were tougher to figure out as we struggled to understand how connecting to our phone line can make pictures appear on a screen. Crazy!

Now it’s 2014. We have no excuse for not knowing what the history is. And we also have no excuse for not knowing how to clear it. Spoiler alert about the movie Don Jon: Joseph Gordon Levitt is a guy addicted to porn blah blah blah. He meets a girl blah blah blah. She goes on his computer to check his browsing history blah blah blah. She finds all the XXX sites he’s been to for the past ten days blah blah blah. Wait, what? This is where the record scratched for me. Not only was he so dumb that he didn’t clear his history of his more intimate indulgences but he had no clue what his history even was.

This should not be. This cannot happen. People, how would you feel if your history were made public one day? I, personally, would feel fine because the most you’re going to see out of me is that I read too much (yes, yes, I am aware of the numerous visits to Amazon and Barnes & Noble), make frequent visits to Irish travel guide sites (a dream as yet unrealized), spend way more time on Facebook than I should (who doesn’t?), and that I really, really like Marvel Comics (I am NOT ashamed).

Clearing one’s history is not only good advice to keep in mind for porn aficionados and e-voyeurs, but also surprise birthday party planners, gift givers, child stalkers (your own child, pervert, not other people’s!), Words With Friends cheaters, and closet Kevin James fans. Oh and if you’re going to be chatting it up with people you really shouldn’t be chatting it up with?  Yeah, it would be a good idea to delete that too.

Long story short, if you’re going to do something sketchy online you should really be better at covering your tracks. It’s really not that hard. Yet some people just can’t seem to grasp the basics.  Would you ever rob a jewelry store and not wear gloves? Websites have fingerprints too. All your movements leave a trail, but clearing history can wash away that digital DNA, at least off the surface. Use it or if you get caught I can only say to you, “I told you so.”

Of course there’s always the novel idea of not doing sketchy things to begin with.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Like that’s ever going to happen.

4 thoughts on “A little something called your computer’s history

  1. If you really, really want to be a nerdy, geeky wonk (and save yourself more grief than you can ever imagine) you can always run a system backup, say, every year or two. God forbid that anyone should set up a routine to back up every week or so.

    There are two types of people in this world — those who have lost a hard drive without an adequate or recent backup, and those who will someday (possibly soon).

    I may have had to “fix” this for more than one boss over the years…

  2. His problem was trusting the girl to trust him. Allowing someone unfettered access to your computer, especially if you don’t know them well, would be like handing over your personal diary where you have kept your most intimate secrets. Crazy.

    My wife and I each have our own user logins, and our user folders are encrypted. We don’t know each other’s passwords. It’s not that we don’t trust each other, it’s because we do trust each other, and allow each other to have some online privacy. It also means that our computer histories are inaccessible to anyone else, even if they have malicious intent.

    Of course you do realise that even if you completely destroy your computer, your online history is still available. Your ISP keeps a log of your Internet activity, and combined with the logs kept by the sites you visit, a very precise history of your online activity can be obtained.

    • I’m glad that you and your wife have an understanding. Sadly not everyone is trustworthy. And I do realize the tracking goes deeper then just the history which is why I said it’s only erased on the surface. It’s amazing what technology can do these days.

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