Smart Safari Settings on Your iPhone - dummies

Smart Safari Settings on Your iPhone

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

You can protect your privacy through Settings on your iPhone. Along with the riches galore found on the Internet are places in cyberspace where you’re hassled. You might want to take pains to protect your privacy and maintain your security.

Tap the Settings icon on the Home page. Now tap Safari.

You may have already discovered how to change the default search engine and clear the record of the sites you visited through Settings. Now see what else you can do:

  • Fill out forms with AutoFill: When AutoFill is turned on, 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.

  • Open links: You can determine whether links will open in a new page or in the background.

  • Browse privately: Don’t want to leave any tracks while you surf? Turn on Private Browsing, for a “what happens in Safari stays in Safari” type of tool. Those truly bent on staying private will also want to tap Clear History.

  • Cookies: Cookies are tiny bits of information that a website places on the iPhone when you visit so that the site recognizes you when you return. You need not assume the worst: Most cookies are benign and many are beneficial.

    If this concept wigs you out, you can take action: Tap Clear Cookies and Data and then tap it again (rather than tap Cancel). Separately, tap Accept Cookies and then tap Never. Theoretically, you will never again receive cookies on the iPhone.

    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. Tap Safari to return to the main Safari settings page.

    If you don’t set the iPhone to accept cookies, certain web pages don’t load properly, and sites such as Amazon and organizations you belong to will no longer recognize you when you appear at their doors.

  • Use Cellular Data for Reading List: When turned on, this option lets you use your cellular network to save Reading list items from iCloud so you can read them offline.

  • Turn JavaScript on or off: This setting is on when you see the blue On button and off when you see the white Off button. Programmers use JavaScript to add various kinds of functionality to web pages, such as displaying the date and time or changing images when you access them.

  • Receive fraud warnings: By turning this setting on, you’ll be warned when you inadvertently visit a fraudulent website.

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

  • Determine Advanced settings: The Safari settings under Advanced aren’t meant for regular folks. You’ll find information here on website data, and a Web Inspector tool that can assist techies in resolving web page errors when your phone is connected by cable to a computer.