A Guide To The Most Common Problems Encountered While Using Safari Private Browsing Features.
Security and privacy protection are important considerations for most people who are using the internet, which is why browser features such as private browsing have become so popular. Instead of automatically storing personal information and history from a browsing session, private browsing or privacy modes will reduce this process.
Safari private browsing was first introduced in 2005 and has been followed with privacy features from browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. While the potential security benefits are attractive, the effectiveness of private browsing modes has been questioned across the board. Understanding the activation process and common problems associated with Safari's private browsing mode will help to make this option as effective as possible for private browsing needs.
Using Safari Private Browsing Mode
There is a lot of information online suggesting the privacy mode still saves records of information from private browsing sessions. Two of the biggest issues are:
- Switching privacy mode on and off; and
- Information being stored on the computer despite private browsing being activated
Fortunately there are ways to improve these features so that private browsing is more secure. In the past Safari automatically deactivated private browsing when the browser was closed, meaning users would have to switch it back on again at the start of every session.
Similarly, there was no quick way to switch private browsing off during a browsing session. Both of these issues have been addressed in Safari 5.0, which keeps private browsing activated and also displays a "Private" icon in the address bar which can be clicked to turn it off.
Stored data, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. Information for plug-ins used by websites such as YouTube needs to be stored in order for those plug-ins to work and errors are automatically stored in a Mac's cache, which means some evidence of sites visited during a private browsing session may still be recorded. Users can choose to disable the plug-ins and there are ways to hide information stored in the computer cache.
Like most browsers, Safari is constantly being improved, so ownloading the most recent version of Safari, and regularly checking for updates can also solve common problems such as the activation issues above. By understanding how Safari private browsing works, and where it may fall short, users can get the most out of this privacy feature.
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