Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Browse in Privacy with Safari

Under normal circumstances, Safari retains records of your web browsing activity. It remembers the pages you visit, the data you download, and your web searches. It may also store your personal data in order to automatically complete online forms.

While these features can save time and help you retrace your online steps, there are occasions when you might prefer to leave no footprints — for example, when browsing on a public computer.

The solution is simple: Before you begin browsing, go to the Safari menu and select Private Browsing. When the warning box appears, click OK. Now Safari stores none of the aforementioned info.

Privacy with Safari

What if you decide you need privacy after you’ve been browsing? You have several options: You can remove individual pages from Safari’s page-view history, erase the entire history, or clear all traces of your activity, including any cookies and cache files you may have accumulated.

To review the pages you’ve visited and delete them as desired, go to the History menu and select Show All History. Here you can select pages and clear them with the Delete key. To wipe the entire Safari history, select Clear History from the History menu. For a completely clean slate, go to the Safari menu and select Reset Safari.

Note that the Private Browsing option does not prevent Safari from collecting cookies (the preference files automatically generated by many websites). The Reset Safari option clears all cookies. If you want to delete only certain ones, choose Preferences from the Safari menu, click the Security tab, and then click Show Cookies. You can select and delete individual cookies from the list that appears. Careful, though — if you’re a frequent web user, this list can be very, very long.

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