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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Privacy and Security Features

Every year, there’s another headline about some break-in where millions of credit card numbers are stolen by a hacker, sending panic into the hearts of the world’s innocent Web audiences. In OS X, Apple strikes back with some very clever privacy and security features indeed.

Erasing Your History

Some people find it creepy that Safari maintains a complete list of every Web site they’ve seen recently, right there in plain view of any family member or coworker who wanders by.

To delete just one particularly incriminating History listing, choose History→Show History. In the resulting organizer window, expand the relevant date triangle, highlight the offending address, and then press your Delete key. Choose History→Hide History to return to normal browsing. You’ve just rewritten History!

Or, to erase the entire History menu, choose History→Clear History.

Of course, the History menu isn’t the only place where you’ve left footprints. If you choose Safari→Reset Safari instead, you also erase all other shreds of your activities: any cookies (Web-page preference files) you’ve accumulated, your list of past downloads, the cache files (bits of the Web pages that a browser stores on your hard drive to save time when you return to the page they came from), and so on. This is good information to know; after all, you might be nominated to the Supreme Court someday.

Private Browsing

Of course, that’s a lot of work just to cover your tracks; it also erases a lot of valuable ...

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