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OS X El Capitan: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Privacy and Security Features

Every year, there’s another headline about some break-in where millions of credit card numbers are stolen by a hacker, sending panic into the hearts of the world’s innocent web audiences. In OS X, Apple strikes back with some very clever privacy and security features indeed.

Erasing Your History

Some people find it creepy that Safari maintains a complete list of every website they’ve seen recently, right there in plain view of any family member or coworker who wanders by.

To delete just one particularly incriminating History listing, choose History→Show History. In the resulting organizer window, highlight the offending address, and then press your Delete key. Choose History→Hide History to return to normal browsing. You’ve just rewritten History!

Or, to erase the entire History menu, choose History→Clear History. In the resulting box, you can specify that you want to erase only the last hour’s worth of history, only today’s history, the last two days’ worth—or your entire history. It’s a handy feature that makes a lot of sense.

Of course, the History list isn’t the only set of footprints you leave as you surf. In El Capitan, there’s no more Reset Safari command. But the Clear History command does exactly the same thing, and more. It erases all other shreds of your activities: any cookies (web page preference files) you’ve accumulated, your list of past downloads, the cache files (bits of the web pages that a browser stores on your hard drive to save time ...

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