Hiding your search history is a critical component of your online privacy, which is why you should take it seriously. Here is a complete guide on how to hide search history when browsing the internet!

Clear Existing Search History

Before you learn how to hide and avoid the browser memorizing your search history when using it, you need to delete the current search history. That adds to the overall privacy and will help online and offline spies from accessing sensitive information.

Here is a step by step guide on how to clear search history in various browsers.

Google Chrome

  1. Start by clicking the menu icon (the one with three vertical dots in the upper right corner). Select More Tools and then choose Clear Browsing Data.

clear browser

      2. From the dropdown menu, choose From the Beginning of Time. Make sure to tick the Browsing History option below. You can also erase any other information that you want. The more you choose the delete, the better for your privacy.

clear browsing data     

      3. Click on Clear Browsing Data and allow the browser some time to finalize the deletion process.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. You will notice History on the Top menu. Select Clear Recent History.

Firefow

    2. In the pop-up box, select to clear browsing and download history. You can also clear other data as per your preference. 

Firefox

     3. Confirm by clicking on Clean Now.

Opera

  1. Once you open Opera, you will notice the menu button (it has a logo on it) in the upper left part of the screen. Choose History. 

Opera

       2. Click Clear Browsing Data and pick the items to erase. Make sure to include browsing history and pick From the Beginning of Time.

Opera

      3. Confirm by clicking Clear Data. 

Safari

  1. Click on the History menu at the top of the screen and tell the browser to click on Show All History. 

      2. Choose Clear History.

safari

     3. Select to delete all history and confirm. 

Safari

Microsoft Edge 

  1. Choose History from the upper right menu.
  2. Click on Clear All History. 

Microsoft edge

     3. Choose which data to delete and confirm by clicking Clear.

Microsoft edge

Delete Cookies

A cookie is a file that stores information about your browsing activity on your computer. While cookies themselves are not harmless, they could consider data that will help third parties to learn more about your activity. That compromises your privacy, which is why you should minimize the use of cookies whenever possible.

Start by deleting existing cookies. The exact process will depend on the browser, but most apps will have the option to remove cookies along with the browsing history. That is why you should follow the steps below. Once you have an option to choose which browsing data to delete, tick the box next to cookies.

Please note that you might need to enter your login information again on websites where you were previously logged in. 

Use the Incognito Mode

The name of this mode will vary from one browser to another – some call it incognito, while others prefer privacy.

The idea behind incognito mode is that you don’t store browsing history while surfing the web. That is particularly important for public computers – you don’t want to risk an unknown person seeing the websites you visited. Be particularly careful when visiting sites where you leave personal or financial information. 

Incognito mode is there to protect you since it won’t memorize third-party cookies. That means any traces that you visited a particular website will disappear after you close the browser. Always make sure to close it once you are done browsing!

Use a Private Search Engine

The main problem with your online privacy is using major search engines for tracking the internet. If you search something on Google, for example, it collects the keywords, IP address, location and device, and even time when you executed the query. 

Even if you remove the search term from your browser’s history, Google still has the information. It uses that to tailor the advertisement to your needs. 

The solution lies in using a no-tracking search engine like Privado. Here are the advantages of this method:

  • It doesn’t expose identifiable user data – that means the keywords you used in search queries will be encrypted in the browser’s history. 
  • It doesn’t store your IP Addresses or personal information – it is an excellent way to boost your privacy. 
  • It uses an anonymous ID to improve your privacy – it is another way to keep your privacy at the maximum level.
  • You get unbiased results – since there is no previous record of your searches, you will receive unbiased results from every query conducted.

Anonymous search engines like Privado are incredibly easy to use. All that you should do is to head on the website and type the desired keywords. It is exactly the same as on those search engines that are not private. You can also use private engines on mobile phones and other portable devices. 

 

Prevent Your Browser from Revealing Your Location

You might be unaware that you allowed your browser to share the location with third parties. Your location may be used to track you and to tailor ads to your location.

If you don’t want this to happen, turn off location sharing on your browser. 

Here is how to do that:

  • Firefox – click on the address bar and type about: config. Next, type geo.enabled. You can choose whether Firefox should ask you before sharing the location, or you want to reject sharing requests automatically. 
  • Safari – head to Privacy within the Preferences menu. Choose whether the browser should ask you about sharing the location, or you want to turn off these services altogether.
  • Chrome – click the Menu (three dots in the upper right corner), and then choose Settings. You will notice Location preferences within the Advanced tab. Choose the desired adjustments here and pick whether you want to approve for each website or disable location sharing altogether. 

Don’t Let Google Track You

What if we tell you that Google is probably the biggest enemy of internet privacy? The company uses its services, such as e-mail and search engine, to track your activity. 

Unfortunately, Google can track you in multiple ways, and it’s hard to stay completely anonymous. However, you can turn off Ad Personalization to ensure that they don’t tailor the ads to your internet history. 

How to Disable Tracking on Your Browser

It would be best if you disable cookies altogether. You can do this by visiting the Settings of your internet browser and finding the Privacy section. In the tab about cookies, choose which cookies to keep active. Experts recommend deactivating at least third-party cookies to improve privacy while browsing. 

Avoid Tracking on Social Sites

Social media might be collecting sensitive information about you even if you are not aware of that. You might have allowed an app yourself to gather your name, birthday, and other personal data. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid tracking on social networks:

  • LinkedIn – you will find ad preferences in your Account menu within the Settings section.
  • Twitter – you can deactivate ad personalization by heading to the Security and Privacy section of the Settings menu. Untick the corresponding box to prevent collecting data.
  • Facebook – this platform has an Adverts section within the Settings. You can also head to app Settings and disable permissions you gave to certain applications about collecting your personal information. 

How About Trying VPN?

The abbreviation VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network. The idea of this browsing method is to hide your actual IP address. Instead of showing it, the VPN gives you a totally different IP, and third parties can only access to that one. You can use a VPN to visit sites that might be restricted in your country. 

While a VPN can protect your browsing activity and location, it is important to mention that these networks are often not free. 

FAQ About Search History Hiding

Q: What are the benefits of receiving unbiased content via a private search engine?

A: You will see unbiased search results that will get you out of the filter bubble. That ensures you get information from different sources and learn about different viewpoints. It is the best approach to developing your mind and as a person. On top of that, you have the right to privacy, and nobody should tailor your search results the way they think is suitable. 

Q: Should I delete search history when using a public PC?

A: Yes, you should remove all search history (if there is any) after using a public PC. It would be best to use Incognito or a private mode since that will ensure you don’t stay logged in on any websites after exiting the browser.

Final Thoughts

Hiding your search history is important for multiple reasons. First, it ensures nobody will access the information on the device you were using. When you take things to the next level by using a private search engine and improving your privacy by the methods we suggested in this article, you can also ensure that information about your browsing activity doesn’t reach advertising companies and other third parties. The reward? Complete search privacy.