Using Firefox s Clear Private Data Feature

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Using Firefox's Clear Private Data Feature

New in Firefox 1.5 is a useful feature named Clear Private Data. This function is controlled from the Firefox Options dialog box's Privacy tab. Clicking the Settings button at the bottom of the Privacy tab displays the Clear Private Data dialog box.

Contained in this dialog box are check boxes to define what data you want cleared:

  • Browsing History The history cache is a record of which websites you visited.

  • Saved Form Information Forms you have filled in while browsing are cached to allow Firefox to reenter information when revisiting the site. This data can contain sensitive data such as IDs, passwords, or financial information.

  • Saved Passwords Firefox saves passwords by default (you can turn it off either on a site-by-site basis or globally).

  • Download History Files you have explicitly downloaded are retained by the Download Manager until you clear them by clicking the Clear button.

  • Cookies Cookies are created by websites to store information about you and your usage of the site.

  • Cache Firefox caches (saves a local copy of) content you have viewed.

  • Authenticated Sessions Sessions you have had to authenticate are stored by Firefox for later reuse.

Each of these collections of private data can be set so it is cleared when Firefox exits. Another option is to have Firefox, when it closes, prompt you as to whether this data should be cleared.

Most users who are on private computers (usually at home) do not clear this data; after all, it is saved for a reason improved performance. However, users who are using public (or semipublic such as a work computer) normally do not want this data to be saved between sessions because this might allow someone else to have access to their private data.

In an emergency, you can force a clearing of your private data by selecting Tools, Clear Private Data from Firefox's menu. Do remember, though, that once cleared, this data cannot be recovered by ordinary means there is no undo!

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    Firefox and Thunderbird. Beyond Browsing and Email
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 245

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