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Smart Safari Settings for the iPad

When you want to take action to protect your privacy and maintain your security, tap the Settings icon on the Home screen and then tap Safari. Along with the riches galore found on the Internet are places in cyberspace where you’re hassled.

The following settings enable you to tell your iPad what you want to be private and how you want to set your security options:

  • Search Engine: Tap the search engine you desire (just as long as that search engine happens to be Google, Yahoo!, or Bing).

  • AutoFill: Safari can automatically fill out web forms by using your personal contact information, usernames and passwords, or information from other contacts in your Address Book. Tap AutoFill and then tap the On/Off switch to enable or disable AutoFill.

    Turning on AutoFill can compromise your security if someone gets hold of your iPad.

    Finally, tap Clear All to permanently delete all saved AutoFill names and passwords.

  • Open New Tabs in Background: Enable this, and when you open new tabs in Safari, they’ll load, even if you’re reading a different page in another tab.

  • Always Show Bookmarks Bar: Enable this option to always see Safari’s Bookmarks bar between the Address field and Tab bar.

  • Private Browsing: Enable this option and Safari will stop tracking the pages you visit, so your History won’t reveal a trace of where you’ve been.

    The history of pages you’ve visited can be useful and a huge timesaver, so don’t forget to disable this option again when you’re done doing whatever it is you don’t want people to know you’re doing.

  • Accept Cookies: Cookies are tiny bits of information that a website places on the iPad when you visit so that the site recognizes you when you return. You need not assume the worst; most cookies are benign.

    You can Tap Accept Cookies and then tap Never. Theoretically, you will never again receive cookies on the iPad. A good middle ground is to accept cookies only from the sites you visit. To do so, tap From Visited. You can also tap Always to accept cookies from all sites.

    If you set the iPad so that it doesn’t accept cookies, certain web pages won’t load properly, and other sites, such as Amazon.com, won't recognize you, use any of your preferred settings, or customize its recommendations.

  • Clear History: Tap this button to erase everything in Safari’s History, leaving nary a trace of the pages you’ve visited.

  • Clear Cookies and Data: Tap this button to clear all your stored cookies (see the earlier bullet on cookies for more details).

  • Fraud Warning: Safari can warn you when you land on a site whose producers have sinister intentions. The protection is better than nothing, but don’t let down your guard. The Fraud Warning feature isn’t foolproof. The setting is on by default.

  • JavaScript: Programmers use JavaScript to add various kinds of functionality to web pages, from displaying the date and time to changing images when you mouse over them. However, some security risks have also been associated with JavaScript. If you do turn it off, though, some things might not work as you expect.

  • Block Pop-Pps: Pop-ups are those web pages that appear whether you want them to or not. Often, they’re annoying advertisements. But on some sites, you welcome the appearance of pop-ups, so remember to turn off blocking under such circumstances.

  • Advanced: Unless you're a developer, you don’t need to pay much attention to this setting. It lets you turn a debug console (showing errors, warnings, tips, logs, and similar details that developers find useful) on or off.

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