Data protection: Safe surfing with Internet Explorer 9

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I have heard that my page visits in the Web are logged and that I will be recognized, when I later visit these Web pages. How can I better protect my privacy in the Web? How can I ensure that I get less online advertising?


What is stored in the Web about you

If you surf the Web or search via a search engine for online content, you automatically transfer data from your PC to the Internet, which is processed and logged by answering Web servers. This applies to news sites you visit every day and also for search engines like Bing or Google.

What search engines store about you

When you start a search engine like Bing or Google, certain information from your PC is automatically logged and transferred to a Web server. This includes your IP address, which is usually also known as the location of your computer, your operating system, the browser and your search terms. Further more, depending on the search engine and Internet setting, a cookie is placed, which is used to recognise you next time and save your language settings.

Better protection from online advertising

In the following paragraphs you learn how to control what information about you is stored in advertising networks and how to disable advertising cookies.

To prevent the flow of information within the advertising networks while surfing, Internet Explorer 9 offers the function tracking protection. You can find a detailed description about the tracking protection basics and configuration in the following article:

Look up Google preferences

If you now and then click on Google ads banners, you in the long term leave a profile of your possible interests that is saved by Google in a cookie. You can look up the information on the page and delete it if necessary.

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Disabling the cookie list via the Network Advertising Initiative

Cookies are not only placed by individual web servers and online marketers, but also via large advertising networks. This way it will be ensured that, when browsing, you see such advertising banners you are probably interested in. In addition, you also get more advertising than people, on whose PC no corresponding cookie is set.

If you want to know which (international) companies currently place advertising cookies on your PC, an online visit to the Network Advertising Initiative, a group of large advertising networks, is worth while. To do this, navigate to the page, and check, which advertising network has currently placed a cookie on your PC. Using the option Opt-Out to the right, you can disable the corresponding cookie for each network. After your selection you have to click on Submit.

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Managing or disabling cookies via the page "my"

On the German page in the so called Preference Manager you can also determine whether to accept those cookies or not.

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What web servers store about you

Web servers also log your IP address, which usually also discloses the location of your computer, your operating system and browser version. Certain information, e. g. settings on the web pages that you visit, can also be filed in a cookie, which then "recognize" you when you next visit the page.

If, in some cases, you don't want the website you are visiting to place cookies and to store data in the cache, you can use the function InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 9. Although you don't prevent that IP address, operating system and browser version are transferred and cookies are placed - this data is, however, if stored by the local system, removed after the session. When you next visit this web site, you will not be recognized, or if at all, only by your IP address.

Note: For information on disabling or selectively accepting cookies in Internet Explorer 8 or in Internet Explorer 9, see the following article:
It is however not advisable to disable cookies, in order not to significantly restrict the comfort while surfing.

InPrivate browsing – traceless browsing

To consciously avoid traces on your hard disk when browsing the Internet, the function InPrivate browsing has already been introduced in Internet Explorer 8. This way neither browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, user names nor passwords are stored. In short, your browsing history remains hidden to other users on your PC, and the web server that you visit the next time cannot identify your via cookies.

How to set up this useful function:

1. Open Internet Explorer, and click the entry in the menu bar Tools, or click on the command bar on Security.

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2. Click on the entry in the drop down list InPrivate browsing.

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3. This will open a new browser window with the note about:InPrivate in the address bar. Simply enter the website address that you want to visit, or search the desired Internet platform on the Bing search engine. As long as you use this browser window, your browing history is not recorded, even if you open more tabs.

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Deleting traces of former browsing tours – Deleting all traces

Even if you want to hide the tracks of past browsing tours, Internet Explorer 9 offers conventient features and capabilities.

1. Open Internet Explorer, and click on the entr Safety in the command bar.

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2. Click on the entry Delete browsing history.

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3. In the following dialog box Delete browsing history please ensure that the option Preserve preferred website data is disabled.

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4. Then enable the option Temporary Internet files.

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5. Enable the option Cookies.

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6. Enable the option History.

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7. Make sure that Download history is disabled. You should only delete the download history, if you want to hide your download list from other users on this PC.

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7. Enable the option Form data.

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8. Enable the option Passwords.

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9. Do not enable the option ActiveX filtering and Tracking Protection data.

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10. Finally, click on Delete.

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For more useful information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Data protection: Identifying personal web entries with Bing
Privacy: More tips for the people search with Bing
Privacy: Deleting personal data in the web
Data protection: Sharing photos safely with Windows Live SkyDrive
Data protection: Sorting out unwanted advertising and newsletter


Article ID: 2622870 - Last Review: August 22, 2012 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Windows Internet Explorer 9
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