Internet History in Windows

Web browsers collect information as users peruse the Internet. Data files are generated to keep track of where users have been and what they have typed into online forms all across the Internet. The data is saved on the computer's hard drive in folders allocated by Windows. Windows 7 allows users to manage their commingled Internet history through Internet Properties, which also informs users of exactly what is stored in their Internet history.

  1. Browsing History

    • Most Web browsers maintain a list of previously visited websites by default. The general purpose of a browsing history is to make it easier for users to return to websites. There are privacy concerns when it comes to websites that collect browser data along with the typical hazards of sharing a computer. Sometimes, users do not want companies and other users to know where they have been on the Internet.


    • Cookies are data files that are uploaded to user computers from websites for a variety of reasons. Some websites just want to keep track of Internet traffic or that an account holder was revisiting their page. Malicious websites attempt to hide malware among cookies to render the user computer vulnerable to future infiltration. Not all Internet cookies are bad, but even benevolent ones can build up on a hard drive over time and impair computer performance.

    Form Data And Passwords

    • Web browsers can keep track of what users type into online forms. Account names, passwords and search engine queries are saved for user convenience. Email services use stored data to accelerate user login while search engines display previously entered queries in the search field. While convenient, saving form data can make email accounts vulnerable on public computers, and anyone can see what the previous user was searching for on the Internet.

    Temporary Internet files

    • Temporary Internet files include images, audio and video that is stored on a computer while the user is browsing the Internet. Once the Web browser is closed, the temporary files are typically deleted. For example, if a user views a video on a website and then navigates away to another website, a temporary Internet file of the video is saved on the computer. If the user visits the page with the video again before closing the browser, the video is already loaded.

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