The rules change for women who are living with domestic violence, especially if the computer you use to access email, social media, or browse is accessible to the abuser. Safety, or caution, must dictate the sites you visit: ideally you should not browse any sites that could be questioned and made into a threatening issue by your abuser.
Even while using the ‘private browsing’ mode there’s a trail left behind because search engines like Google record browsing preferences of the user. In subsequent searches made on the same computer, Google may throw up browsing prompts, highlight or suggest sites corresponding to your earlier search, or display related ads, giving some of your surfing story away. Even though ‘history’ is not recorded in private browsing mode intelligent stalkers can, through such giveaways, figure out some of your browsing activity.
It’s distressing to know that you are being tracked all the time, although the search engine’s interest in your preferences is basically commercial and not personal. There’s been a huge protest about Google’s prying activities but the real threat to domestic violence survivors is in their own homes.
Read through this site if the situation at home is dangerous for you - and decide on alternative routes to connect with people and information: http://www.welivesecurity.com/2013/11/07/how-can-domestic-violence-survivors-protect-their-privacy/
Read the fine print about browsing: http://privatebrowsingmyths.com/
Some common sense rules: https://www.domesticshelters.org/safe-surfing
All security experts maintain the same line: the best way of ensuring your own safety and privacy is NOT to use an unsecured computer if the work you do on it could compromise you.