Sure, you delete your history when you don’t want other users on your computer to see what you’ve been searching for or looking at online, but did you know, there are other practical reasons to get rid of your browsing history and data regularly? Below are a few of them. This trick is awesome.
1. Save on flights
Websites track you, which means they know when you’ve been sitting on your computer (or phone) checking flight prices for a week straight. I have found that not only does it help to shop for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but it makes a huge difference if you clear your browsing history, so these airline websites forget your searches. I am sure that this doesn’t happen all the time, but I don’t want to be targeted with higher prices just because they know I’ve been waiting for prices to drop and am going to buy for that particular weekend no matter what. Try it!
2. Get Back into Your Locked Accounts
It’s happened three times now when I locked myself out of an account ‘temporarily’, and I am banned from trying to enter my credentials more times. Instead of waiting for the mandatory time period after getting locked out of my account on websites, I just clear my browsing history and data then close out the Google window and open a new one. Three times or more, I have been able to go back in and try again! Such a timesaver and avoids the hassle of waiting for a password reset link–which sometimes doesn’t even work until your account is no longer locked.
3. Faster Internet Speed
When you keep a running log of everything you’ve done saved in your browser, it takes up storage and memory. Sometimes this can cause your Internet speed to lag, especially if it’s been awhile since your history has been cleared. By clearing your Internet history, you give your browser a fresh start and it is essentially able to ‘think’ more clearly and do things more efficiently.
4. Protect Passwords
When you erase your Internet history and browsing data, more likely than not, the box is checked for ‘delete saved passwords’ and you add a layer of protection to your personal information by not having it stored. Anytime your personal information is stored, you might feel like it’s easier because you don’t have to retype passwords to login to frequently visited sites such as bank accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, and more, but it also increases the likelihood that someone else can access your accounts without your permission. Passwords can easily be stolen by anyone, and when you save credit card information, the same is true. People don’t even have to be on your computer physically to see this information, they can use malicious software to crack in. I wouldn’t trust your browser with saved information.
If you don’t want to keep seeing that Wayfair ad which is flashing the rug you looked up online four days ago or other stores on the sidebar of new websites reminding you of what you left in a cart that you have no intention of purchasing yet, then I suggest deleting your browsing history so it can clear your details. Your IP address is saved by certain websites and they are able to see what you’ve been looking at or shopping for, even if you don’t checkout and buy anything. Then, when you go to another website, your ads become customized based on your IP address and your browsing history. If Google knows what you’ve been shopping for, it can start to set up targeted ads for you, and it’s more than just Google who does this. On Amazon, I reset my ‘advertiser ID’ frequently, so third parties never have my full browsing profile available to them, and I turn off as many ‘targeted ad’ options as I can when a website gives me the option. Unfortunately, many websites don’t give you this option anymore and they make it so that by just using their site you agree to whatever information they want to use about you and your IP address, and who they release it to.
Facebook already got in major trouble this year (to the tune of making Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth drop by $5.1 billion) for being shifty in its privacy practices. Personal data is worth so much these days that people are willing to do whatever it takes to learn information about you–except pay you…whatever happened to the days when people were invited to take surveys and got paid money in exchange? My issue with all these companies getting greedy with user information is that if they gave me a cut of what they’re making from selling my information to third parties, I would gladly support their efforts, but most of them are taking information about you without paying you and without letting you know the details (i.e. are they only tracking your searches on their site or do they also save your friends’ information and everything on your phone from pictures to phone call info?). When you clear your Internet history and browsing data, you’ll erase cookies which means the tools they use to save information about you will have to restart themselves.
I erase my browsing history and clear cookies from my phone daily for at least the reason above, but there are so many other benefits, and I hope others will feel compelled to at least try it with the other situations I’ve mentioned!