This is the first of a series of posts providing security tips that pertain to LGBTI persons’ online activities. Some will be links to other sites and some will be original content. Much of the material will come from a guide produced by several organizations whose websites are listed at the end of the post. Thanks for reading and please share your feedback and suggestions!
Browsing history and cookies
It’s a good idea to minimize evidence of your use of LGBTI dating sites on your computer, should anyone else inadvertently discover it through using, stealing or finding your computer.
The first and most basic step is to simply delete your browsing history after each use, or disable browsing history altogether.
Many websites, particularly social networking sites, store small files called cookies on your computer, which collect information about your interaction with that website and others, so that they can provide you with advertisements relevant to your interests. Therefore, if you are logged into an account such as Facebook or Google while also logged into your dating site profile (even in a different tab), these sites may collect this information about you and use it to serve you advertisements, or even hand it over to third parties. It’s a good idea to disable cookies on your browser any time you log into a dating site, to avoid linking your use of this site to any of your other online profiles or activities.
If you’d like to securely delete your browsing history, cookies and other temporary internet files, there are a number of easy-to-use Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) tools which can help you with this. In particular, we recommend CCleaner and Eraser.
Security in-a-box provides the knowledge you need to recognise digital security threats and the tools you need to address them. It offers detailed, step-by-step instructions to help you use those tools effectively, as well as practical, non-technical advice for anyone who relies on digital technology to do sensitive advocacy work.