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  • What is Internet Browser History

Whether you realize it or not, your internet browsing history is completely traceable. In fact, unless you've taken the necessary steps to ignore all cookies and disable your browser history, it's relatively easy to track your browsing history - including the specific sites you've visited. But your browser history isn't just a simple repository of the websites you've visited. It stores more information, too, including times, dates, and other bits of metadata.

Understanding Browsing History
Although browser history can be used in some controversial and malicious ways, there are many benefits to maintaining your internet browser's history. Not only does it let you recall the pages you've recently visited, which is useful if you've forgot to bookmark an important site, but - depending on how long your browser retains history - you might even be able to go back days, weeks, months, or years.

Other benefits of maintaining browser history include:

  • Targeted advertising: Advertisers can use your browser history to display targeted, relevant ads that are more likely to appeal to you than the standard or default ads. Although there is some controversy behind the practice, it's generally considered a benefit when compared to other methods of online advertising.
  • Personalized pricing: Some eCommerce sites offer personalized pricing based on your browsing history. Depending on how it's used, however, these personalized prices might not be beneficial to the consumer.
  • Online research: Browser history is often used by sites to conduct research and various forms of analyses.

But your online browsing history can also be used for nefarious purposes. A malicious website, for example, can access your browser history in the same way that a reputable site can. Although they probably won't be able to identify based on this information alone, they can certainly see what sites you've visited, when you visited them, and the actions you've taken before and after.

Deleting or Disabling Browsing History
Most modern internet browsers give users the ability to delete their browsing history or disable tracking altogether. While this does provide you with a little bit of extra protection against potential hackers and malicious websites, the added protection it affords is rendered moot by many antivirus and internet security programs available today.

The process of deleting or disabling your online browsing history is dependent on the web browser you use. In most cases, it requires you to access the browser's "Options" or "Settings" tab, but the exact process varies between browsers.

Anonymous Browsing
Some browsers even offer "Incognito" mode. Not only does this disable browser history tracking for the current session, but it also disables the use of cookies and prevents online forms from saving the data you've entered. This is the best option for users who want to remain completely anonymous while browsing the internet, but you might experience some difficulties with site usability, accessibility, and convenience as a result.

Managing Your Browser History
As you can see, most modern web browsers track your browsing history in some form or another. While there isn't much danger in doing so, especially if you stick to authentic and reputable sites or use active internet security, some nefarious websites will try to exploit this for their own purposes.

You may read more about browser history in Wikipedia: Web browsing history.

Data Recovery Feedback
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Rating: 4.8 / 5
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I`m an IT professional who has worked from home for over a decade. Early on in my career, I configured an HP ProLiant Server (Raid 1+0) as a workstation that I would remote into from my laptop. As technology evolved, I began to use it only for email and as a config file repository.

A short while ago, one of the drives degraded, but the HP ProLiant Server (Raid 1+0) still functioned fine on the remaining drive. I was complacent and didn`t replace the ...