Can Parents See the Websites Visited on an iPhone?

Your iPhone history can reveal sensitive personal information.
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When you browse the Internet on your iPhone, it automatically collects information about the websites you visit. As a result, the website history on your iPhone can reveal an embarrassing amount of information. If your parents have access to your iPhone, you can take steps to hide your website history and cover your digital tracks.

1 Viewing Website History

By default, your iPhone stores your Web history directly in the Safari app. To access the history, you must open the app and tap on the Bookmarks button at the bottom, which looks like an open book. Tap on "History" to see a full list of websites that you have visited on the phone, sorted by date. Unless your phone is locked with a passcode, your parents have easy access to the Safari history.

2 Clearing Web History

If you want to prevent access to your Web history, you can delete it permanently from your iPhone. Tap on the "Settings" icon and select "Safari." Scroll down until you see a link called "Clear History." To clear the history, tap on the link once and again to confirm that you want to permanently delete the information. For extra security, you can tap "Clear Cookies and Data" to rid your iPhone of all identifying information.

3 Emptying Website Data

The iPhone stores additional website data in a section that is easily accessible but more difficult to find; if you're aware of the section, it is easy to find a list of visited websites even when the history has been cleared. In the "Safari" menu, scroll all the way down the page and tap on "Advanced" and "Website Data." There, you'll find a list of websites from which your phone has stored information, along with the size of the file. Although the list is not comprehensive or organized by date, it can reveal a great deal about the websites you visit. To delete selected listings, click the "Edit" button and then the red minus sign button next to the URL. To erase all of the data, choose "Remove All Website Data."

4 Using Private Browsing

Manually removing history is quick, but it is an easy task to forget. To help reduce the risk of accidentally disclosing your Web history to third parties, enable Private Browsing on your iPhone. Open Safari and click the "new page" icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap on "Private" and choose "Close All" to get rid of your current open windows. From that point on, the websites you visit will not be added to your iPhone's history.

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.