As we all know unlike others, Macs are mostly less prone to viruses and malware. However, the Safari browser might be exploited via malicious code and show unnecessary pop up ads. It’s also not a difficult task for someone to get your browsing history and see what all you have downloaded. In this article, we are going to tell you some important tips on how to safely browse internet on macOS. First of all, make sure you have the latest version of macOS and the Safari browser by checking the Mac App Store. Click on ‘Updates’, and this way you’ll get to know if you have access to Safari’s latest security features.
Block pop up ads
Pop up ads are not too annoying while we browse the Internet but some of them can be really malicious. Few pop up ads contain harmful code and when you click on them, it might take you to a similar website which can be a threat to your security. However, you can easily prevent yourself by blocking most ads with the use of Safari Extension AdBlock Plus. To do this, click on Safari then Safari Extensions in the menu which is located at the top left which will show you all the available add ons. After that, click on ‘AdBlock Plus’, and then on the blue ‘install now’ link for adding it to Safari. After doing so, the AdBlock Plus button will start appearing on the left side of your address bar. You can click on it to check the details of what all has been blocked.
Block tracking cookies
Some websites also put tracking cookies on your PC. These are generally small files that keeps recording your browsing habits and your information. This is most of the time harmless but I don’t think anyone of you would like if a life insurance website knows what junk food you just ordered. To get away with this issue, install the Safari Extension ‘Ghostery’ for blocking all the tracking cookies. All you have to do is, click on Safari then go to Safari Extensions and search for ‘Ghostery’ in the search bar. After that, click on ‘Install Now’ which will take you to the setup wizard. When you reach the ‘Blocking’ section, click ‘Select All’ for blocking all types of tracking.
The most recent version of Safari has a lot of improvement if we talk about security. Now, it needs your login password for showing any password you’ve set before. This means if you are not around your Mac then it is really difficult for anyone to open Safari and get access to your passcodes. However, a high end hacker might still get access to it. To make yourself more safe, use iCloud Keychain for storing an encrypted copy of your passwords in the cloud. To do this, go to System Preferences then iCloud and tick ‘iCloud Keychain’ to set up.
Use Private Browsing
To use private browsing, Click File then go to New Private Window at any time in Safari to start a private browsing session. If you do this, your Mac will not remember any pages visited, search history or forms filled inside a private window. The address bar is also grey for easy identification. Always make sure that you clear your browsing history. Go to Safari then click on Clear History for erasing your existing browsing data. In the ‘Clear’ menu, pick the time period you want to erase. However, Safari also has the potential to automatically delete your browsing history after a certain length of time. Go to Safari then Preferences and then General, after that find the ‘Remove History Items’ section for changing this.
Disable location services
Location services are really a good way for websites to give customised web content. You easily get the search results for nearby places to eat or go while you search online. But, you should know that it leads in blurting out your whereabouts without your permission to third parties. For instance, would you like if your employer gets to know that you had a job interview with their rival company? To get rid of this situation, you can disable location services by going to Safari then Preferences and then Privacy. After that, under ‘Website Use of Location Services’ click ‘Deny without prompting’.
Disable ‘Safe Downloads’
You already know that by default Safari automatically open files you download that uses formats that it thinks to besafe like PDFs and more. This also means that you can’t check if the ‘safe’ files are the right ones before opening. In the process, some malicious code hides in files like PDFs which are considered ‘safe’. For doing this, go to Safari then Preferences and then General. After that, untick ‘Open Safe Files after downloading’ for disabling this feature.
Change your search engine
Most of the search engine providers stores what you are searching for, your IP address and even the websites you keep visiting. All this information can prove as a threat for you because it can help anyone build up a detailed picture of your personal browsing habits. This can happen even if you use Safari’s Private Browsing mode, as although the history doesn’t get stored on your computer, the data is still there on the server of the search engine. However, now we are giving you insight on how to avoid this situation. You can switch to the search engine DuckDuckGo! DuckDuckGo neither tracks you, not does it shows any customised ads. For getting this browser, go to Safari then Preferences and then search and choose DuckDuckGo in the ‘Search Engine’ menu.