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Monitoring Web Browsing Habits

If you want to track where someone has been on the net, there are several ways to do so.

When use a Web browser it collects information about the places you visit and stores it on your computer. This information is easy to find if you know where to look. However, it's also easy to delete so you should be aware that many web-savvy kids do it regularly.

History files

Browsers keep a history of recently visited sites by keeping files of those sites. The purpose of this is to speed up your surfing of sites that you visit regularly.

All versions of the modern browsers have a "history" tab which will allow you to see what that particular browser user visited on the internet.

Once you have the history list, most browsers allow you to just double-click on the site name to check it out.

Web files, videos or images stored on your computer

To find Web pages or images that someone has purposely saved on your computer (as opposed to cache files, which are automatically saved), you can use your Search for Files tool in Windows or Macintosh.

In Windows, type the following file extensions in the Search box: *.htm *.html (remember to leave a space between the two terms). To search for images, type in: *.gif *.jpg *.jpeg *.bmp. To search for video files, type in *.avi *.mpeg *.mpg *.asf (again, leave a space). Macintosh users can do the same, but they must leave out the * before the file extension.

Your Search function will return a list of all Internet Web pages, images or videos stored on your computer. Just double-click on the file name or icon to view the file.


A cookie is a file that a Web site can park on your browser when you visit, and that records your activities on that site as well as elsewhere on the internet. Some cookies are deleted when you close the browser, some expire over time but most are left on your hard drive for when you visit that site again. The idea is that when you go back, the site can present you with customized information or know where you have been visiting in the meantime. Ad companies have the most persistent cookies and they track your visits consistently are report back to their own tracking systems so they can serve more efficient ads to you. This also means there is a record of your browsing habits in the hands of a company which can then sell your info to others.

Do yourself a favour, delete your web browsing history regularly



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