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Look, I am the last one to suggest that you have something to hide, but there are definitely times when you don't want Safari keeping track of your every web movement. When you're working on sensitive projects at work for example. In this movie, we will examine how to better maintain your privacy on the Web. Before we talk about erasing your tracks, let's look at how to avoid creating those tracks in the first place. Go to the Safari menu and turn on Private Browsing. A message will pop-up and it will tell you that it can keep track of your browsing history but in this case it won't. So click on OK. You see the Private notice up in the address bar and that indicates that Safari isn't going to keep track of the pages you visit your search history or any auto-fill entries.
Now note that this is a setting that you have to turn on every time you launch Safari. So just because you turned it on today, once you quit Safari you have to turn it on again when you launch it the next day. Turn it off for now. So let's say you have traipsed around the web for a while and you'd like to delete what you've done on the web. You can choose to erase data that's already been collected, using Safari's Reset Safari command. So under Safari menu Reset Safari and you see that you have a number of options, but you can uncheck those that you don't want to use. Lt's run though them very quickly.
Clear History. Safari keeps a history of everything you've done. You can clear that so your history is gone. You can reset the Top Sites screen, so instead of going to a bunch of pages that you may have visited in the past or that you clearly like, it will reset it back to generic top sites. It will remove all your webpage preview images. So if you go over to Spotlight, select a webpage, you won't see a cached preview image. You can also clear the Downloads window, so people can't see what you've downloaded. It will remove all your website icons. If you have saved passwords and names, you can clear that as well.
It will also get rid of AutoFill form text. You can close all your Safari windows, reset your location mornings, and you can remove all website data. I am not going to do any of that right now. Just know that you can clean up Safari very easily with these options. Now Safari will also store data from sites that you have visited in a cache and this helps open pages more quickly. I mostly use this for troubleshooting a slow browser, but if you choose Empty Cache, you are going to get rid of these cache files. We will go ahead and empty those.
So now when you visit a site, it's going to have to reload everything instead of looking back into the cache and then use some of that information to load the site quickly. We will go into Preferences and click Privacy. You can remove your web cookies if you like. You do that by clicking Remove All Website Data and clicking Remove Now. So what exactly is this? Cookies are little tiny bits of information that your web browser will store.
Now sometimes this is really important information. For example, I've gone to Amazon, for example, and it has a little cookie set for me there so it understands that I'm me, it knows what my history is like, and then it will present products to me that it thinks I might like. Other web cookies, however will be little files about advertising, so it indicates that I've been to site A, B, and C and because I have been it's likely that I will like advertising from advertiser D. What it will do is it will push a certain kind of advertising to me.
So if I remove those cookies, I get rid of that targeted advertising. It doesn't work in all cases, but sometimes it does. You have options for blocking cookies. The default is From third parties and advertisers. I think this is a good compromise. What this means is that I've gone to a site, I don't want a third party pushing advertising to me, simply because I've visited a different site, this site sees the cookie and then it's going to try to push advertising to me. I can block cookies all the time. If you're very concerned about your privacy you can turn this on, but honestly it gets to be little inconvenient because every time you visit a website then it's like the first time you've been there and sometimes you have to re-enter data or let the website know who you are and I'd rather just going to go through the hassle of that. Or Never, which means hey, bring on the cookies, all the time! And I don't thing that's such a great idea either, so leave the default.
And then you can also limit website access to location services. Some websites will either know where you are based on what your IP address is or you've told it where you are. Safari can prompt you and say, this site would like use your location, is that okay? By default it's once each day. If you don't worry about it quite so much, you can choose Prompt for each website one time only or you could just absolutely deny it, so you cannot track my location at all. Turn that option on and a website will be unable to do that.
Now how vigilant you are about these settings is up to you. I don't worry all that much about privacy except when it comes to my family. But it's a personal decision. Now that you know about these options, you can make surfing with Safari a more private experience.
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