Can Authorities See Your Internet History?

Today, most Americans use Google or other search engines to answer their questions. Some of these searches are for immediate problems; others are merely hypothetical. No matter the case, your search history says something about you. But what does that mean if you get in trouble with the law? Can authorities see your internet history?

Clearing Your Search History

Some believe they can protect themselves against police searches by deleting their text messages and clearing their browser history. That might have been a viable strategy ten years ago, but technological police work has come a long way since then.

While police still need a warrant to review your texts or computer data, they probably won’t do it through your personal computer. Rather, they’ll request records from your phone carrier or from your internet service provider (ISP).

Protecting Your Privacy

Everyone gets curious. In a criminal investigation, a search with no ill intentions could be used as circumstantial evidence against you, even if it was months before the incident in question.

While it’s difficult to protect your text message privacy, there are ways to safeguard Google searches on your laptop. You could use a “Virtual Private Network” (VPN) or Tor, a web browser that encrypts your data and makes it invisible to those looking at your network data.

Whether or not you’re facing charges, your privacy is important. Our constitution guarantees us protection from unreasonable search and seizures, but the scope of what is “reasonable” seems to grow every year. If you want to protect your privacy online, you might use tools like a VPN or encryption and make sure you regularly clear your search history.

If you’re facing criminal charges, you may want a skilled attorney in your corner. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Brian C. Andritch, please send us an email or call (559) 484-2112.

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