Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

As the question states: I used the internet on a shared machine and deleted history (Internet Explorer), which deletes all of the following:

enter image description here

I do not want anyone to know that I used the internet or the Internet Explorer application. Can anyone with access to the computer find out still that I used the internet? Could they even find out what sites I visited? Or what could they find out, and how?

As to the "anyone" I'm talking about, I mean I used a university computer, that are not suspicious but just in case they decided to take the computer and check to see if I used the internet, I want to make sure they can't find anything out. How can I cover my tracks to minimize the chances that they find out I used the internet on the machine? And by use, I mean even cover up the tracks that I opened the Internet Explorer application.

share|improve this question
For starters, the IP addresses of all the sites visited can be logged from the router/access point. – iglvzx Feb 23 '12 at 7:11
Don't forget the Windows "index.dat" files that never get erased. – Moab Jul 23 '15 at 18:11

You can't.

Any good managed network logs all internet traffic across their router. This would include the source and destination (one of those is the computer you were using), and the date and time (which would allow them to correlate to the time when you were on the computer.

On the computer itself, if someone really really wanted to know what you used, the timestamps on the program include Last Accessed, which would be when it was last opened. Especially on modern systems there are so many things going on in the background connected to other things in the system that looking at system logs and application logs a sufficiently capable technologist should be able to put together a reasonably accurate picture of what you were doing and when you were doing it.

Most University computers also require you to login with your username and password. This information then authenticates the session against the servers and other systems on the network, which also record certain sorts of information regarding what you do during your session.

Finally, even if you were to use a Virtual Machine, as dsandre suggest, there would still be records of where that virtual machine was running (on the computer you're using) and therefore it is only slightly better security.

So the real issue is: What are you doing that you are so anxious to know how to hide?

Anything overtly illegal and forbidden and all these various systems will be used to put together a case against you regardless of what you do.

If you were only being annoying or breaking minor school policy, they may not go to the full effort of checking everything.

That said, any sort of behavior like this, in most schools, is grounds for being expelled. So balance whatever you want to do against how much you fear having to tell your parents you were kicked out of school.

There are only two ways to hide stuff complete:
1. Don't do it.
2. Use your own internet connection.

share|improve this answer

To forget no trace on the computer you may download a virtual machine like VM Ware or VirutalBox on a mobile device. Plug it on the computer that you want to use to copy and paste to your virtual machine (or use it from the mobile device branché) and use your web browser (IE :s, get firefox and all puglings for privacy) directly from the virtual machine.

Before to leaving the computer, delete properly your virtual machine. By this way, any trace will remain on the computer, they will not be able to know that you used IE or any other browser

share|improve this answer

Programs have a last accessed property that can be tracked (if the university so chose) and so that in conjunction to the log file that details when you logged on could positively confirm that you opened the application.

In addition, if you logged on to the computer, it is pretty standard practice at many universities to keep a log of what web pages each computer went to.

If you logged on to a machine, and your university has done either of these two things, there is nothing that you can do.

If you did not log onto the computer, then there is no way to tie the activity on the computer to you (unless there is a tape or something) and you have nothing to worry about.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .