How to Clear History on Android in a Few Easy Steps
The number is staggering.
A mobile data breach can cost an enterprise up to $26.4 million in triage and recovery costs.
Granted you are not a company and your device does not hold information of hundreds of thousands of buyers. But as far as your life, your preferences, and your sensitive credit and debit card data is concerned, an Android phone provides a nice little snapshot of your life and your activities. This is worth protecting.
What are the Threats to Your Mobile Data?
There are primarily two types of threats that individuals need to be wary of.
1. Threat from Theft: This is very common. About 4 million smart devices are lost or stolen globally every year. The miscreants who gain access to these phones also gain access to the browsing history, data and the remembered passwords of the individual who has misplaced his device. Strangers can probe into most visited sites and if they find sensitive indications there, they can use it as leverage for a variety of reasons. They can also log into secure accounts if the credentials are saved in browsers and be privy to insights no one else should have. Monetary losses are also possible.
2. Threat from Malware: Some sites and applications try to search for personal information from browsers and apps and use it to either directly target the individual whose data is being appropriated or add it to a pool and draw conclusions about subjects that might be used for nefarious ends.
Both scenarios are not desirable.
But there is a way out of this problem.
You – the user – can take it upon yourself to regularly clear your history on your Android device, empty the cache, and remove any inadvertently saved passwords from your system, wiping your phone clean and steering away from unnecessary complications.
Comprehensive Step-By-Step Guide How to Clear History on Android
1. If you are using the Android 4.0 OS as your platform, then your browser is going to be named “Internet”. This is the pre-installed app that the device comes with. To remove all traces of personal data, you need to visit the Web menu, click on the Settings tab and then choose Privacy.
From here, tick the following:
- Clear history
- Clear cache
- Clear all cookie data
- Clear form data
- Clear location access
You also need to be intentional about checking the box against Clear Passwords under the Security tab.
2. On more recent Android operating systems, there is the choice to use third party and Google browser apps like Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Dolphin. We will illustrate the process with Chrome because most of the browsers follow suit.
- Open up the Chrome app
- Click the hamburger menu to the top right of a browser window
- From the drop-down menu choose the option “Settings”
- Go to “Advanced” and click “Privacy”
- Choose ‘Clear Browsing Data‘ from the bottom panel
- Tick the options you want taking care to clear cookies, passwords and the cache and then click “Clear”.
For other browsers, after clicking on “Settings”, generally the option “Privacy & Security” needs to be tapped to access the various clearing options.
3. This next step is a precaution. Fire your browser of choice again. Open a “New Tab” and you should see that it is completely clean. However if there are snapshots of your most visited URLs still visible, long press on the ones you wish to remove and from the menu, choose the option “Remove”.
4. Last but not the least; you might want to wipe everything from your device because you are selling it off to someone else. This is clearing your history. Simply visit “Settings”, choose “Backup My Data”, allow your device to make copies of essential information to Google servers and then tap “Factory Data Reset”. You might also want to encrypt your phone prior to using the reset option. This will render any remnants of data inaccessible to the individual you are selling your smart device to. But the process takes a while and disrupting it might result in corruption.
Now that you know how to clear history on Android on your own, you can say that it is relatively simple and doesn’t take a long time. The only thing that is of importance is regularity. You must stick to an erasing schedule so that sensitive information is always secure.