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It's easy to jump online and be productive with Mac OS X, but it's also easy to stop there. Many users haven't explored the depth and richness of this powerful operating system and the applications that come with it. In Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics, Chris Breen helps those who are already comfortable with Mac OS X discover new features in everyday applications like Mail, iCal, and Safari. He also explores the often overlooked "power user" tools, including Terminal, Disk Utility, and Automator, and provides troubleshooting and maintenance tips.
One of the great things about Safari is that it keeps track of where you have been. That's allowing cached pages to load more quickly, passwords to be stored in cookies and an easily retraceable path is provided to be at the History menu but there are times when you don't want Safari to keep track, for example when you are sitting at someone else's computer conducting confidential work and this could be as innocent as hiding any traces of online shopping you have done for your husbands upcoming birthday. We will now look at how you can cover your tracks. First it's helpful to know where those tracks are.
Let's first start with the History menu. This menu shows the places you visited going back a very long time. You can quickly make that list of visit disappear by going to the end of the menu and choosing their history and then there is Auto Fill. When you start typing an address into Safari's address field that we will do that now a helpful list of suggestions appears. These are stored auto fill entries. There are times when you don't want these to appear. To clear them you have a couple of options.
Safari keeps track of auto filled items particularly to a certain site. For example, your Google search terms are stored by Safari. When you return to Google and look for something you have already searched for when you begin typing Auto Fill will offer suggestions for those previously searched four items. To clear these site specific Auto Fills go to the Auto Fill preference within Safari, click the edit button next to other forms, select the sites that you would like to clear Auto Fills from for example, if I wanted to use Google I would select that and then I would click the Remove button.
Those auto fill entries will be removed and Remove All does this for all listed sites. But suppose you want to get rid of all Auto Fill entries the ones that appear in Safari's address field. This is an all or nothing or fair. You choose Safari, empty cache and those auto fills should be gone but honestly they are not always. Note that when you do that some pages you visited before will take longer to load because they are no longer cached and then there is Google. Click the magnifying glass next to the Safari search field and choose Clear Recent Searches.
Now you can perform a far more stern cleaning by choosing Reset Safari from the Safari menu. When you do you see you have a host of things you can clear out. Some such as clearing other auto fills entries, emptying the cache, clearing the history and clearing Google searches you already know how to do. You can also kill the contents of the downloads window. You can remove save names and passwords. I am not sure that's a great idea but if you really need to cover your tracks that's another option and you can remove cookies and cookies are little markers that websites leave so that when you return they know who you are and they can help load a customize page for you.
If you select all these things and hit Reset your tracks should be pretty well covered but honestly if you think ahead you needn't to do any of things simply by choosing private browsing from the Safari Menu. This option ensures that you don't leave tracks in the first place. You are asked if you are sure you want to turn this on, click OK and from then on you will leave no tracks when using Safari. Now that you know how to cover your tracks the lesson talks about working locally with Safari.
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