Delete Internet Junk From Your Browsers

The data that accumulates in our Web browser’s history, such as cookies and temp files, is one of the biggest contributors to the “junk” files that slow down our computers. Fortunately, there are easy ways to lean out the browsing history in today’s Web browsers, and we’ll show you how.

Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer 9, select the Tools button (it looks like a gear and is located next to the Home and favorites buttons) and click Internet Options. Click the Delete button under Browsing History and you’ll see a list of items that IE9 automatically saves, such as Temporary Internet Files, History, and Passwords. If you’re looking to save space, ensure that check marks are placed in the Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, and History checkboxes. Categories such as Form Data and Passwords save information that you’ve entered into previously visited websites, so they are designed to speed up your Web experience and may best be left unchecked. Similarly, IE9 also features a Preserve Favorites option that allows IE9 to retain the cookies and temporary files for those websites in your Favorites list to help those Web pages load faster. Consider checking this box to speed up your overall Web experience. Once you’ve made your checkbox selections, click the Delete button and IE9 will remove the files and information. Note that the temporary Internet Files folder may contain a large amount of data, so it could take a few minutes to finish the task.


To clear out Firefox 9, select the Tools menu (you may need to press the ALT button to temporarily bring up the Menu Bar) and click Clear Recent History. At the top of the resulting window, Firefox provides a Time Range To Clear drop-down box, where you can choose from Everything, Last Hour, Last Two Hours, Last Four Hours, and Today. Under Details, you’ll find checkboxes for the various types of data that Firefox saves. The key space hog categories in Firefox are the Cookies and Cache items, so you’ll want to ensure they are checked. Items such as Active Logins and Site Preferences help Firefox to expedite the loading of your most often-visited websites, so you may want to remove the checkboxes from those options. To delete the data, click the Clear Now button.

Google Chrome

With Google Chrome 16, you clear data by clicking the Wrench icon, which is located next to the Address bar on the browser toolbar. Click Tools and select Clear Browsing Data. The pop-up window offers you an Obliterate The Following Items From dropdown menu where you can delete data from the past hour, day, week, month, or all Chrome files. By default, Chrome places checkboxes in the Clear Browsing History, Clear Download History, Empty The Cache, and Delete Cookies And Other Site And Plug-in Data, which are wise choices for those who want to free up storage. The Clear Saved Passwords and Clear Saved Autofill Form Data are unchecked, and you may want to keep the data, because it helps to quicken the load times of your most commonly accessed websites. Click the Clear Browsing Data button to remove the files you selected.

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Browser Security Safari 5.1

Many of the default settings in Safari are activated to protect you as soon as you open the browser, while others may require some modification depending on your preferences.

Privacy Options

Safari is designed to filter the data that outside parties can access as you surf the Web. Certain Web sites that you visit use your stored data to track where you browse, but you don’t have to let sites retain that information. Additionally, you can personalize your cookies (small files that Web sites store on your PC) and limit how often Web sites can request your physical location. To customize these settings, open Safari and click the drop-down arrow next to the Settings “cog” icon. Select Preferences and click Privacy. Under the Remove All Website Data button, you’ll see a number listed next to Websites Stored Cookies Or Other Data. To view these sites, click Details. Y can delete individual Web sites or all sites to reduce browser tracking. Select a site and click Remove to get rid of one site at a time; click Remove All to clear the entire list (alternatively, you can just click Remove All Website Data in the Privacy pane). In the same dialog box, there are three options to block cookies: From Third Parties And Advertisers, Always, and Never. Click the option you prefer. If you want to limit Web sites’ access to retrieve your location, click Prompt For Each Website Once Each Day, Prompt For Each Website One Time Only, or Deny Without Prompting. The Private AutoFill feature doesn’t automatically fill out online forms, unless you allow it to. But, this is a good thing. When you start typing your information in a Web form, Safari displays a drop-down field, giving you the choice to allow Private AutoFill to complete the form (using your personal information from Outlook or Windows Address Book) or fill it out one box at a time. You can configure your AutoFill Web forms by selecting the AutoFill pane in Preferences (via Settings). Safari will automatically fill forms using information from your address book card if you select the associated box. And when you select the boxes next to User Names And Passwords and Other Forms, Safari remembers your saved user names and passwords, as well as any Web sites that have stored your AutoFill data. Click the Edit button next to either option to remove the aforementioned information from each preference. Safari includes a third concealment feature called Private Browsing. If you’re using a public computer in a public workplace, and you prefer not to expose sensitive information to people who use the computer after you, the Private Browsing feature will protect your browsing history. (It won’t prevent Web sites that you visit from gathering information.) Safari will not keep track of Web sites visited, search history, or AutoFill data. To switch to this browsing mode, click the Settings icon and choose Private Browsing. Click OK in the Do You Want To Turn On Private Browsing? dialog box. Click OK. For the duration of your Private Browsing session, the Private icon appears in the Smart Address Field (the Address bar). To turn off Private Browsing, simply click the Private icon and click OK when Safari asks Are You Sure You Want To Turn Off Private Browsing?

EV Certificates

Some Web sites choose to add extra security (encryption or third-party verification) to their sites in order to protect against Internet fraud. For instance, financial institutions and other businesses want to ensure that customers who navigate to their sites will feel safe when entering sensitive data. The Safari browser supports EV (Extended Validation) certificates, so you can quickly recognize a legitimate Web site. To know if you’re at a site that’s been authenticated, look for the name of the Web site displayed in green on the right side of the Address bar. Click the name and the Certificate dialog box will open. The Certificate Information listed should include what the certificate is intended for, which site it’s issued to, which organization verified it (such as VeriSign), and how long the certificate is valid.

Reset & Empty

You can refresh Safari by actuating two settings: Reset Safari and Empty Cache. Reset Safari lets you erase particular items associated with your browsing patterns, whereas Empty Cache will clear memory (visited Web pages, images, etc.) if you want to remove the content Safari has saved. To locate both of these settings, click Edit in the Menu Bar. Select Reset Safari and the browser will ask you if you want to reset. You should see a checklist of items to reset; by default all of the items will be checked. Uncheck any you don’t intend to reset and click the Reset button. If you click Empty Cache in the Edit menu, Safari will prompt you to click Empty or Cancel.

Configure The Security Pane

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