by David Hakala

Say you don’t want your spouse or parents to know where you’ve been surfing because you’ve been shopping online for birthday presents. Or perhaps you work for the CIA and don’t even want your password-protected, biometrically accessed, triple-DES encrypted personal computer to know what you’ve been working on. You need to erase your tracks; delete the recorded history of your computer activity.

History is convenient. Windows, by default, keeps track of files you have opened. When you open the Start menu in Windows XP, you will find a list of them under My Recent Documents; just click on one to open it and start working again. Separately, Web browsers keep track of URLs you have visited so you can just type a few letters of one to pull it up and click to go there, instead of re-entering the whole thing. That’s great, but so can anyone who has access to your computer. If that thought makes you uncomfortable, here is how to minimize or eliminate your history.
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