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Internet Explorer Tracking Protection Lists
The ugly secret of the Web is that you’re being tracked just about everywhere you go by advertisers and analytics companies that scoop up your personal data and store it in giant databases outside your control. There are plenty of third-party add-ons that claim to protect your privacy, but only Internet Explorer (version 9 or later) has this capability built in.
When you turn on Tracking Protection, you can use a list that Internet Explorer builds on the fly, as you use the browser. Or you can use a third-party list tailored to block specific domains known for their tracking behavior. Microsoft even created a list aimed at preventing Google from collecting data as you visit third-party sites.
If you care about privacy, it’s a good tool to keep at your disposal.
Safari is, perhaps, the most boring of all browsers, not known for its innovative interface or cutting-edge features. But because mobile Safari is the only option on the wildly popular iPad, it’s insanely popular. And on both OS X and iOS it has one built-in feature that none of its rivals do.
When you visit a web page in Safari, you can share it easily via Twitter or Facebook (or email) using the Share tool. This feature doesn’t require any third-party apps, and it lets you bypass annoying widgets that add extra information (including tracking codes) to your tweet or post. If you haven’t previously connected either service to your iPad, you’ll be prompted to do so the first time you use this feature. After that, it’s a simple matter of tap-and-share.
Firefox Master Password
Every modern browser offers the capability to save usernames and passwords for sites that require you to sign in. That’s convenient, but it also introduces a security risk: If you leave your computer unattended, someone can visit your bank, a shopping site, or your web-based mail or social media account and automatically log in as you.
Unless you’ve saved those credentials in Firefox, that is. Mozilla’s browser offers the option to assign a Master Password to protect those credentials. When you turn on that setting, an intruder who sits down at your PC will be unable to browse through your list of saved usernames and passwords unless they can supply the Master Password. It’s up to you to choose a strong password that’s not easy to guess. But you knew that already, right?