Should You Clear Your Browser History Daily?
Not so long ago, teenagers around the world were obsessed with clearing their browser history. The internet gave them access to so much, but it came at the cost of the potential for prying eyes. It made sense to wipe any compromising websites from any memory but their own.
However, how we use the internet has changed. Our browser history is very useful in navigating with the utmost convenience. If we ever want to visit a site without it going in our history, Incognito Mode is only a click away. The problem is that our browser history can be compromised in a very different way.
In 2022, it does not feel like much of a disaster if your phone is stolen. Lost phone insurance can help you replace it immediately. The cloud can recover everything you lost. But if the thief manages to get into your phone, they have access to more than just a record of every site you’ve visited.
Is this justification enough to clear your browser history daily? Here are some things to take into consideration.
What Data is Most Compromising?
It is easy to get caught up thinking that it is the websites you’ve visited that will compromise you. After all, we use the internet in just about every area of our lives. However, the reality is that a lot of the sites we visit don’t say much about us.
Look at your browser history now and see what it tells you. You’ll find that there’s a combination of random questions, the information you needed for work, recipes, and other such stuff. A thief who does not own complex software that can decipher your habits will struggle to filter out what is important.
The compromising data has a lot more to do with your accounts. Your browser keeps you logged into every account, at least until you’ve closed your browser. If you’ve agreed to let it keep you logged in, your account is accessible for the foreseeable future. Even if you haven’t, your browser may stay logged into your account for days.
Does this necessitate erasing your browser history?
The Simple Alternative
There is a simple alternative, although it is not one that will appeal to most people. You could simply log out of every account before you leave your laptop or phone. You could try to remember to log out of a site before you close the tab.
However, this requires a fair amount of commitment. It is also very easy to forget to log out every single time. It’s far easier to just clear your history, cookies, and cache all at once each day.
That being said, if you practice good device security habits, clearing your browser history may not be necessary.
Keeping your Data Secure
The reality is that even if your device is stolen, it should be safe from prying eyes. You should have a numerical passcode of six digits. Getting past this code is almost impossible, and the best hackers struggle to do so. If someone is that dedicated to getting your data, they’ll probably try a virtual route.
You can also set your apps and browsers to require you to log in with a strong password each time you visit. If you have facial recognition or fingerprint access, this is not too big a deal. It will take a few seconds extra to get into your accounts.
For the accounts that leave you most vulnerable, you should have multi-factor authentication and should never stay logged in. This applies to things like banking websites or apps and any other sites that give you access to extremely personal information.
Clearing your browser history might make you feel better, but it is not strictly necessary. It is an inconvenience and is unlikely to really make a difference in the long run. As long as you keep your devices secure with PINs and passwords, your data should be safe.