How to View a Network Computer's History
By Robert Dupea
A network computer's history of viewed websites can be checked by following a few simple steps. However, these steps will differ slightly depending on which Internet browser the computer uses. The amount of "history," or data that is stored by a particular browser, can be adjusted by tweaking the browser's privacy settings. However, keep in mind that these privacy settings--and the browser history data itself--may be rendered inaccessible to users by network security. In addition, it is important to note that many networks use additional hardware or software to track browser history and user activity. In the majority of circumstances, this data is not accessible to a network user--only to the network's supervisor or security personnel.
Identify, Locate, View
Identify what particular web browser is used by the network computer. The term "web browser" refers to the software that the computer uses to surf the Internet. It is likely that the computer is using either Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Identify the browser by locating it on the computer's desktop.
Open a new browser page. This is done by either clicking on the browser icon on the home page, or by clicking "File" and selecting "New" in Internet Explorer, "New Window" in Mozilla Firefox, or right-clicking and selecting "New Tab" in Google Chrome.
View the network computer's history. In Internet Explorer, this is done by clicking "History" icon--the icon with the green arrow and the clock--located on the toolbar. Once you click this, the computer's browsing history is listed in a column on the left hand side of the window. For computers using Mozilla Firefox, the user need only to click "History" on the top of the browser window; a list of the websites visited will appear. For computers using Google Chrome, click on the toolbar icon (the little blue wrench) on the far right of the browser, and select "History."
- Once you have located a network computer's history, it can be deleted after viewing by following the available prompts. Depending on network security limitations, you may be able to locate several browser settings and change the amount of "history" information that is stored by the browser.
- Remember that if you are using a network computer, it is likely that your usage activity on the web is being tracked by software or hardware existing outside the realm of the computer's browser. Follow all computer usage guidelines established by the owner or operator of the network you are using.
Robert Dupea has worked as an independent content editor and copywriter for over 10 years. His work has appeared on Ebsco Host and various other websites. Dupea holds a Bachelor of Arts in humanities from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Suffolk University. In addition, he holds a master's degree in public administration from the Sawyer Business School.