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Delete all tracks from Internet Explorer


Steve

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Question from Reader - Email Form

 

Hello Mr.Groove,

 

Hope u r fine. Remember me? I have another question.

 

I have a doubt in Internet explorer.

 

If we delete the internet history, will the system keeps the data anywhere?? Is there any way to track the browsing history details after deleting the files???

 

And am using USB modem during for browsing the net............ Is there any possibilities to track the browsing details through that modem???

 

Please clarify.............thanks in advance

 

Advance Christmas wishes........... :D:):lol:

 

All very good questions. As I mentioned in my email response back to you, as I answer email questions from readers, I post my responses here in the Groovy Community Forum in order to help other readers with the same questions.

 

Anyway, back to your question.

 

I have a doubt in Internet explorer.

 

If we delete the internet history, will the system keeps the data anywhere?? Is there any way to track the browsing history details after deleting the files???

 

Internet Explorer DOES keep little tracks of the URLS you visit along with the Date and Time you visited them. These files are named: index.dat and they are stored in the Temporary Internet Files folders. I learned about the files while I was in a Computer Forensics class about 10 years ago. Over the years, it's amazing how many times I came to rely on these files during Computer Forensic consulting gigs.... The files track a users browsing tracks so well, several people even wrote index.dat log parsers which convert the files into text files for easy reading.....

 

Anyway, I have no idea why Microsoft does this. It's actually very annoying because even if you Tell IE to Clear your Internet History IE will not delete that Index.dat file.

 

So, the question is HOW do you delete the Index.dat? Well, unfortunately it's not as easy as one might think. Although the files are easy to find, they are hard to delete because while your logged in, both VISTA and XP tell you the files are "in use".

 

In the past, I always nuked them by logging into the computer using a different user account and then I would go find the files and delete them manually. Since I was logged in with a different profile, the files were no longer "in use" so they could then be deleted.

 

A better method however is to just use a modern day "Cleaner" to nuke all Temp Files and Browser History. Personally, I have nothing to hide however, I still use a few products because of current security holes in most Internet Browsers (IE, Firefox etc...) which allow websites to pull internet history directly from your browser as you visit their sites.

 

I wrote an article recently about a product which deletes internet history including the index.dat file. I reccomend you read the article and download the app. It's free and simple to use.

 

And am using USB modem during for browsing the net............ Is there any possibilities to track the browsing details through that modem???

 

I'm going to say NO. The "Modem" itself will not cache or log any of your internet surfing. 99.999% of all modems (and network cards) are data in / data out. Your Internet Service Provide (ISP) on the other hand "could" be monitoring where your going. So, if you LOG INTO your Internet provider when you connect with your modem, your ISP probably is keeping logs where you are going on the Internet. It's hard to say but I'm going to say that in most cases, ISP's do log where you go and keep those logs for an unknown amount of time.

 

The reason I say this is because (again), in the past I've needed to track down some bad guys attacking a few websites or fraudulently stealing from a website and once we involved the FBI, we were able to subpoena web logs from the ISP. Now granted this is for ISP's based in the US (which is all I have experience for) so please keep that in mind.

 

Hope this post / BOOK helps. Sorry my answer is a bit long.... :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for your answers......it was really helpful...........Still, i have one more question........How do we track and delete the logs entered by the ISP providers???please let me know..........Thanks in advance.........

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There's really nothing you can do about the logs your ISP (Internet Service Provider) collects about your Internet traffic. If your using their service, their network equipment is probably logging what your doing. The question is, what are they doing with that data IF ANYTHING.

 

Collecting logs is expensive with little value. Granted, products like LogLogic and ArcSight exist but people these days are only buying those for PCI Compliance. So, the question is if there's a legal requirement that your ISP collect and archive your logs. AND, before they get archived are they normalized and ingested into a database for reporting.?.?.?

 

You might just try asking your ISP if they log your Internet traffic and why/how/for what. You can also look for their Privacy policy (should be on their website) but you need to make sure the one you look at is specific to your Internet Traffic.

 

Hope this helps.

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