Sunday, January 1, 2012

Clearing browsing history off a computer (through way)

How to completely clear your browsing history:

Clear your (recent)browsing history (cookies, saved passwords, cache, etc...) in your browser. The options is usually located under settings/tools. Additionally, some browser offer the option to automate this (eg. Firefox has an option to clear browsing history each time you close it - you can find it under "Privacy" tab in the browser "Preferences")
Most people already know about this, and do it frequently, but it is not enough.
Windows also keeps a list of domains, a local DNS cache, viewable with the "ipconfig /displaydns" written in the CMD.

So after clearing the browser cache, it is also advisable to flush and reset the contents of the DNS client resolver cache. This is also useful for when an invalid DNS entry is cached (either by mistake or an hacker poisoning your DNS cache).

- Windows users do this in the CMD:
ipconfig /flushdns

Optionally, you could make an executable script and place it on desktop, so you don't have to repeat the command each time.
Do this by opening notepad and writing the following:
@echo off
ipconfig /flushdns

Click on "File", "Save As" and enter a name followed by ".bat" extension. Be sure to select the "File type" as "Any" (so you do not get a file named anyname.bat.txt).
You can run the script by double clicking on it (each time you stop browsing the web, if you are paranoid).

- Linux (Ubuntu does not store DNS cache locally by default, so if you did not turn it on, this is not necessary) users do this in the Terminal:
sudo /etc/init.d/dns-clean start

Script how-to (Ubuntu Linux):
Make a new textfile with any text editor (eg. gedit, vi/m, nano).
Write the following:
sudo /etc/init.d/dns-clean start

Give it a name and save it with ".sh" extension. To make it executable either write "chmod +x" in Terminal or right click your file and under "Permissions" tab, check "Allow executing file as program".
You can now run it with a double click (be sure to select "Run in Terminal") or by writing "./" in the Terminal. The command will be run after you enter your password.

1 comment: