Safari tools: How to keep your privacy protected while browsing

Safari is the default browser of macOS users who are Mac users. Safari offers a range of security features to protect user privacy, so you may be tempted to use it.

Tracking can pose a serious threat to your online privacy. There are many options to track your users. They include both first-party and third-party Cookies. Third-party tracking cookies gather data about your internet activity. Also, there’s fingerprinting. It involves gathering details about your system in order to generate an identifiable fingerprint which can be used for tracking you through the web.

You will learn how to modify your Safari settings, and also how to delete the cookies you have created. This article also explains Safari’s anti fingerprinting processes.

Buy trackers

Safari employs a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention which uses machine learning to determine which websites can track you across the internet. It will automatically block third-party tracks from any sites that you haven’t visited in the last 30 day and then delete them. Safari will temporarily allow third-party cookies to be used on sites you regularly visit. Once they have been deleted, they are partitioned to prevent them from tracking you around the web but keep you logged-in. They will be deleted if the user doesn’t return to that website for more than 30 days.

This option is enabled by default. But you can change it to off.

  • To access “Safari”, click on “Preferences” and then “Privacy”.
  • De-check the box beside “Prevent cross session tracking”.
  • Click the “Block all” box if you wish to prevent both first- and third party cookies.

Clear out your cookies

Unfortunately, Safari is one of the few browsers that will not delete cookies automatically upon exit — you have to do it manually.

  • To access “Safari”, click on “Preferences” and then “Privacy”.
  • Click on “Manage WebsiteData.”
  • There will be a list showing you which sites are using trackers and cookies. Select the desired site, then click “Remove”, in the top left-hand corner to clear all trackers and cookies.
  • For all the data or cookies that have been stored by all the websites at once, you can click “Remove All” on the page’s bottom. The warning message will appear first. You can click “Remove” now to move on.

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Go to Safari, click on Preferences and select “General”, then look for “Remove browsing history” in the menu. It is not possible to delete your history when you exit. But, you may be able to remove it after a certain time period (e.g., one week, one month, etc.).

Fingerprinting & Ad Blocking

Apple has several ways to end fingerprinting using Safari. To begin with, according to a PDF overview, the browser “presents a simplified version of the system configuration to trackers so more devices look identical, making it harder to single one out.” In addition, Apple adds, it doesn’t “add any custom tracking headers or unique identifiers to web requests.”

Safari will not allow ads to be blocked natively. However, extensions let you add additional blocking apps.

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