Private Browsing With Safari (#1019)


Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today’s
episode let’s take a look at Private Browsing
in Safari.
So the way Private Browsing works in Maverick’s
version of Safari is you go to the Safari
menu and you go to Private Browsing to turn
on. You get this little warning here and it
tells you basically exactly what Private Browsing
is going to do.
It is going to not remember the pages you
visit so it is not going to add the pages
you visit to your search history. It’s also
going to not remember your search history.
So when you actually search for something
up here rather than adding an address it is
not going to remember that either. It is also
going to not remember any Autofill information.
When you fill in forms it is automatically
going to disregard that and not put that in
your autofill.
Now to do this in Yosemite it is a little
bit different. Instead of actually going to
the Safari menu you go to the File menu. See
where it says New Window here. You will have
the opportunity to open up a new Private Browsing
window and everything in that new window,
all the tabs you open there, will be in Private
Browsing mode. But you can still keep a window
open with regular browsing mode. So you can
have both side by side if you want.
So what does Private Browsing really do? Most
people don’t understand it. It doesn’t actually
do very much. As I said it does those three
things but what does that really accomplish
because your history is still being recorded
and tracked elsewhere. If you are looking
for a way to privately browse the internet
where say your ISP or the company or organization
you work for doesn’t know where you are going
Private Browsing is not going to do that at
all.
They are still going to be able to track you
through their servers. There is still a footprint
left through your ISP or where you are going
and there also may be a footprint on the site
your are going to. So if you are logged in
to say sites like Goggle, Facebook, etc.,
they are still going to remember what it is
you are doing because you are logged into
those accounts.
It is just your local history, stuff stored
on your hard drive of your computer, that
is not going to be recorded.
So what good is it? Well, it is good for hiding
your browsing history from somebody that you
share a computer with. Somebody that does
not have access to all that stuff at Goggle
and Facebook assuming they don’t have your
passwords of course.
If you are shopping for a gift for somebody
or planning a surprise party it can come in
handy because there are plenty of surprise
gifts and parties that have been spoiled by
people simply looking at Search History in
the Browser.
It is also very useful if you are not using
your own computer. If you are using a public
computer or borrowing your friend’s computer
and you want to do some work on there you
may want to go to Private Browsing mode so
you are not adding your search history and
your autofill information to theirs. It could
be just not that you want to hide something
from them but that you don’t want to clutter
up their work with your work.
It is also good as kind of a low level measure.
For instance you are using your work computer
to shop around for your next job. Well, you
can’t guarantee that your IT department isn’t
knowing exactly what you are doing but it
may make you feel a little bit better to know
at least if somebody were to come and sit
at your cubicle and look at your search history
they wouldn’t see all that stuff.
Now let’s say you are not using Private Browsing
mode and you decide that maybe you should
have been. Well, it is easy to cover your
tracks here because all you need to do in
Safari is go to History/Show History and you
can see all your history there and you can
actually clear this very easily. Go to History/Clear
History here and you can clear it. You can
see it empties it out.
You can also clear out Autofill information
by going to Safari/Preferences and going to
Autofill here and any one of these you can
Edit here so you can see the everything on
the list there. You can select one and remove
it. Select multiple ones and to remove it
do Command A to select all. If you have none
selected you can remove all as well. So you
have the opportunity to do it even after the
fact.
If you are on a public computer and you realize
you have been using Safari and you have had
your search history recorded and you have
had your autofill things put in you can use
these to clear them out afterwards.
Now Private Browsing also does a couple other
things. With Cookies what it does is it doesn’t
stop storing Cookies it just kind of resets
them when you are done with Private Browsing.
So it is very useful, for instance, if you
want to log into a separate account, say Goggle
accounts or Facebook accounts or something
like that, to start Private Browsing and log
into another account and then log out and
when you are done you can then turn off Private
Browsing. Your Cookies should reset to how
they were before.
So if you are having trouble with some sites
going back and forth in different accounts
Private Browsing may help.
Also, if you use the iCloud feature where
it shares your history between devices so
you see what tabs are open on your Mac when
you are looking at your iPad, Private Browsing
will turn that off temporarily. So if you
are shopping for gifts for somebody and they
are on the iPad they won’t be able to see
what page you are looking at on the Mac.
So Private Browsing is not something the typical
user needs to use at all. If you are using
one Mac for multiple people everybody should
have their own user account so you really
don’t need Private Browsing then. It really
doesn’t really protect you from anything like
having your employer knowing what you are
browsing or having your ISP knowing what your
are browsing so it is not as private as you
may thing.
It is kind of a specialty tool but it is good
to know that it is there in case you need
it.
Hope your found this useful. Until next time
this is Gary with MacMost Now.

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