You might want to think twice the next time you’re feeling a bit aroused and want to check some porn sites out on the go, or you could end up like the young, unfortunate catalyst for what has quickly become a very embarrassing joke. A story from WGN-TV in Chicago was originally meant to show Illinois students how to get juvenile offenses expunged from their records, but a screen grab by the ever-observant folks at Reddit showed a slip-up big enough to make any face red.
The phone of the person demoing the process showed a link to PornHub in their browser history, one of the most popular websites for watching the steamy stuff online. It was only visible for a second, but that was just long enough to make at least one person take notice (and the story blew up big enough to make WGN wipe it from existence).
PornHub caught the story alright, and thought it necessary to remind their fans to clean up the trash the next time they intend to show their phones to someone (especially if that someone is holding a camera to record footage set to broadcast on TVs across Illinois):
Dear loyal users and fappers across the country,
We have had the pleasure of watching the WGN debacle make headlines around the country, and while we wholeheartedly appreciate the exposure as a result of the demo phone in question, we’d like to offer up a little help to users looking to hide their dirty laundry a bit better moving forward.
Yes, we thought that intro was worth quite the chuckle, as well. The letter went on to list instructions for clearing your phone’s browsing history, though they only offered up instructions for those on both Android and iPhone.
Things get a bit more sticky (no pun intended… well, never mind) for those of us on Android. There’s no single browser to post instructions for, though we can start with Google Chrome considering it’s now the default browser in the latest versions of Android.
Clear browsing data in Chrome for Android
You’ll be surprised by how easy this process is, and you likely won’t forget it the next time you need to clear the cobwebs and skeletons out of your phone’s closet before letting someone else get their hands on it. Here’s a quick list of instructions:
- From anywhere within the app, hit the menu button (three dots in the upper right corner).
- Press the “History” button, then proceed to step 3 if you want to clear individual items, or step 4 to clear all items.
- To clear an individual item, you can use the search field at the top to search for specific words and remove URLs one-by-one using the “X” buttons to the right of them.
- To clear all items, hit the big “Clear Browsing Data” button at the bottom of the app. You can also find this button at the bottom of Settings > Privacy.
- Here, you can select to delete browsing history, cache, cookies and site data, saved passwords and any autofill data you have set up. You should be good to go with clearing history and cache alone.
- Press the “clear” button after you’ve made your selection, and wait for the process to complete.
And that should do it. Head back to your history and your phone should be clear of any unwanted browsing data.
Using incognito mode in Chrome for Android
Clearing browsing history is not always the most convenient way to clean up after yourself, so be sure to consider using the Chrome browser’s “incognito” mode the next time you want to visit these types of websites.
Incognito mode will refuse to store any history, cookies or cache for as long as you’re browsing in that mode, so you won’t have to worry about it popping up at unfortunate moments the next time you’re typing in a search term or site address.
It’s worth noting that this does not stop people from snooping on network activity if they have that capability, so you’ll want to avoid visiting any unsavory sites if you suspect your workplace or school is monitoring traffic.
Other Android browsers with privacy features
Of course, Google Chrome is not the only browser out there looking out for your privacy. Here are a few other options we know to have private browsing modes if you aren’t using Chrome (or if your stock browser doesn’t have these features):
- Firefox — individual private tabs
- Opera Mobile — browser-wide privacy mode
- Dolphin — browser-wide privacy mode
- Dolphin Zero — always in privacy mode no matter what
- Maxthon — browser-wide privacy mode
In case you have already done naughty things inside these browsers, these apps have all the same browser history clearing functions you’d expect. It’s different for each one, so be sure to poke around your app’s settings menu to find what you’re looking for.
Other tips for keeping your data private
If none of that is enough, we have a few other key tips to take heed to in order to make sure your sensitive browsing data (or data of any kind) is kept out of view:
- Put a lock code on your phone! This is especially useful for those with kids, as those little tykes tend to swipe mommy and daddy’s phones without asking whenever they want to poke around and have some fun.
- Use an app locker app before giving someone else your phone! Most snoopers tend to do their bidding under the guise of needing to make an important phone call or text, but somehow find their way into your photos and browser. An app locker allows you to hand them your phone while giving you peace of mind knowing they can’t get into specific apps without your password. You’ll find many good options in the Google Play Store here.
- Think about not doing it in the first place! Because why are you watching porn on the bus or at work, anyway? That’s what your house is for!
Keep all of this in mind, and you should be able to go on without having to worry about someone getting a whiff of what you like to indulge in behind closed doors. Any other tips or apps we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below!