Protect your privacy online

We understand that sometimes you might need to quickly close a website to protect your privacy. We also have tips on deleting your browser history and using private browsing mode. Our glossary of web terms will also help you better understand your browsing experience and stay safe while you’re online.

How to leave a website quickly

Quick exit button

This website has a ‘Quick exit’ button to exit our site quickly without raising suspicion.

Clicking this button will take users directly to Google’s homepage and clicking the back button on the web browser will take the user back to the same page they “exited” from.

Browser exit 

If you use a PC, you can leave a website quickly by clicking the x button at the top right corner of your screen, or you can press the Alt and F4 keys together. You can also press the Windows key + M to minimise your browser window. This will work on most browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari.

If you use a Mac, you can close a website quickly by clicking the x button at the top left side of your browser window, or by pressing Cmd+Q to quit the browser, or Cmd+H to hide the browser window. These commands will work on all browsers.

Sometimes, an older computer may take a little longer to close the page. If your computer is slow, minimising the browser window may be quicker than quitting the browser altogether. You should check how quickly these commands work on your device to choose the best option for you.

Remember that even after you leave a website, someone can still use the back button or check your browsing history to see what you were looking at. To be safe, clear your history and close the browser window after you're done.

Web terms

To help you browse the internet privately, here are some web terms:

It's a program that lets you search the internet and visit websites. Examples of browsers include Chrome and Safari.

They are small files that are sent to your computer or device that tell websites if you've visited them before and what you've looked at.

The information your browser saves about the websites you've visited, what you've downloaded, and more.

It's a mode in some browsers that doesn't save cookies or your browsing history after you're finished. However, you should be aware that other methods could still be used to track your online activity.

It's software that can be installed on your device to monitor your internet activity, messages, and location.

Deleting your browser history

Your browser history and cookies can reveal a lot about what you do online, so it's important to regularly clear it. Clearing your history can help you protect your privacy. Here are instructions for clearing browser history for various browsers.

If you're using a desktop, you can click the three dots in the top right corner, go to "More tools", then click "Clear browsing data". Choose the time range to clear and tick the boxes for browsing history, cookies, and cached images and files.

If you're using a mobile device, you can click the three dots in the top right corner, go to "History", tick the boxes for browsing history, cookies, and cached images and files, then click "Clear data".

If you're using a desktop or laptop, you can open Safari, go to the "Preferences" option in the Safari menu, then go to the "Privacy" tab and click "Remove All Website Data".

If you're using an iPhone, go to "Settings", then "Safari", scroll down to "Clear History and Website Data", and tap it.

If you're using a desktop, click the three lines in the top right corner, click the clock icon, select "Clear Recent History", choose a time range, then tick the boxes for browsing.

If you use a computer, go to the "Start page" and click the clock icon. Then click "Clear browsing data..." and choose the time range. Check all the boxes, and finally click "Clear browsing data". On a mobile phone, tap the Opera symbol and select "Settings". Then go to "Clear browsing data..." and choose what data you want to clear. Click "Clear data" to finish.

To delete specific websites from your history, click the "hub" icon and then the clock icon. Hover over the pages you want to delete and click the "x" on the right side. To delete all history and saved passwords, click the "more" icon and then "settings". Under "Clear browsing data", select "Choose what to clear". Check all boxes, and then click "clear".

IE 11 and earlier versions: Click the tools button, choose "Safety", then click "Delete browsing history". Tick all boxes, then click "Delete".

IE 10: Click the settings icon, go to "Internet Options", go to the "Safety" menu, then select "Delete".

IE 9: Click the gear icon, go to "Internet Options", scroll to "Browser History", click "Delete", tick all boxes, then click "Delete".

IE 7 and 8: Click the tools menu, select "Internet Options", scroll to "Browser History", click "Delete", then select and delete each section or click "Delete all".

Private Browsing

Private browsing is a way to browse the internet without leaving any history, cookies, or temporary files on your device. However, it does not protect you from all forms of tracking. Private browsing will not delete any bookmarks or downloaded files, so be careful of what you save. Remember to be cautious when browsing the internet, even in private mode. Most browsers have a private or incognito mode that you can activate before your visit.