Chapter 19. Protecting Your Privacy

Windows 7 keeps track of all activities you do on your computer. It records the web sites that you visit, the addresses that you type in, the applications that you launch, and even the files that you open. Why does it do this? All the information is used to tailor your computer experience and power features designed to make Windows easier to use, such as the frequently run programs or recently opened documents lists. Your browser history is used to suggest web sites when you start to type the URL to save you a few keystrokes. These features can be very useful, but they also expose what you do on your computer to anyone that sits down in front of it.

The documents you open, personal letters you write, the web sites you visit, and the applications you use equate to an enormous amount of personal data that most users would like to keep private. Maybe you want to keep what you do online secret or just keep financial documents away from the kids — either way this chapter is for you. I show you how to configure Windows 7 so it is easy to use but mindful of your privacy.

Internet Explorer Privacy

Internet Explorer is one of the most difficult parts of Windows to clean because it stores your data in many folders and files across the computer. Every time you want to clean all your Internet Explorer history, you need to clear recent addresses, remove history files, erase temporary web files, and remove cookies. The first part of this section shows you how ...

Get Windows® 7 Tweaks: A Comprehensive Guide on Customizing, Increasing Performance, and Securing Microsoft® Windows 7 now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.