One behavior that you might notice when typing something on the Google search field is that it pops out suggestions from your previous searches. Clearing your history is a good privacy and security measure. Especially when you search all sorts of “stuff” on the family computer. You don’t want your kid brother to come up with your searches that start with “hot” or something.
Google searches are stored as part of “saved forms.” So those are what you want to clear. Here are the basic steps on both Firefox and IE.
Google Pack is Google’s fun pack filled with useful apps that cater to everyone from newbies to advance users. In a press release yesterday, adds a security option and a new way to view pictures in its latest release of Google Pack.
Google announced the inclusion of these new apps:
Symantec Norton Security Scan: Get basic virus protection from a world leader in PC security. Security Scan features automatic security updates and scheduled scanning, all without a subscription fee.
PC Tools Spyware Doctor Starter Edition: This exclusive version of the award-winning anti-spyware and anti-malware utility includes scheduled scanning, threat removal, limited active protection and free automatic updates.
Google Photos Screensaver: Turn your screen into a digital picture frame that displays the latest photos from your friends, family, and favorite photographers. Show images from your computer, Picasa™ Web Albums, or photo feeds from other photo-sharing sites.
So far, Google Pack contains the following apps with some as options:
- Google Earth
- Google Photos Screensaver
- Google Desktop
- Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
- Norton Security Scan
- Spyware Doctor Starter Edition
- Adobe Reader
- Google Talk
- Google Video Player
- GalleryPlayer HD Images
Download Google Pack here.
Source: Google Press Center
If you’re really a die-hard Internet Explorer fans without any intention of defecting to “the enemy” then you’d probably need (and love) this IE7 add-on. Why? Because it gives your browser some more useful features (that are already found in Firefox and some of its plug-ins:p).
IE7Pro is a free IE7 add-on that puts these (Firefox-y) features into your browser:
- Enhance Internet Explorer’s Tabbed Browsing Capabilities
- AD Blocker
- Super Drag and Drop
- Mouse Gesture
- Crash Recovery
- Save Page to Image
- Quick Proxy Switcher
Okay, so I’m really rubbing it in (I really don’t get it, but I do admire your loyalty :D). For the full set of features and download details, visit IE7Pro’s website.
It just amazes me how IE is so far behind Firefox. Still for IE users out there, you can still play catchup to Firefox with IE add-ons. Here’s one that that spell-checks text input boxes in webpages displayed on Internet Explorer – ieSpell. It’s great for web form junkies – like those who are fond of web-based e-mails and blog forms. It performs spell-check real time a la Word.
View the download details here.
Funny how IE needs an add-on for this, spell checking is a default feature of Firefox 2.0
Jeff Davis wrote a great FAQ on Favicons in IE7 in his blog. There he addresses the following issues:
- How do I make a favicon appear for my site in IE7?
- How often does IE download the favicon?
- I see the wrong favicon for some sites I visit. How do I fix this?
- I put a favicon.ico on my site as you described, but it still doesn’t appear.
- I verified that my favicon really is an icon, but it still doesn’t appear.
- How do I create a different favicon for every page on my site?
- I changed my site’s favicon to a different icon, but the old one still shows in IE. How do I force IE to update?
For the answers, head over to jeff’s WebLog.
Computerworld came out with this excellent article showing 7 ways to keep your identity from being completely profiled by search service providers. Google for example can easily keep track of your search footprints and identity because they can easily cross-check your search queries (your IP addresses are apparently logged) with your log-in information, say for Gmail.
Here are the 7 tips (but believe me, it takes real patience and skill to do these):
- Don’t log into search engines or their tools – A really hard thing to do. But the easiest way is not to do a search while logged in to one of their services. And I have been doing that all along. What you can do is open up two browsers – one for Google services (say, Mozilla) and one searches (IE). You might also want to keep several profiles with Firefox.
- Block cookies from Google – Google keeps track of your search sessions via cookies. But clearing your cookies can cause other helpful cookies website log-in information to be cleared too. Good thing Firefox lets you block cookies from a specified source.
Tools->Options->Privacy tab->Exceptions then enter
www.google.com. See? If you don’t want Google to track you with those porn searches, better use Firefox.
- “Refresh” your IP address – This is easily done when you’re hooked up to residential services. All you have to do is to turn your modem off, leave it off a while and turn it back on. As for my case, this works. I’m still in the same IP range, though, but at least a different address. Now offices usually have static IPs so you’d be better off using anonymizers like Tor.
- Use a different search engine – Ixquick is a search engine that claims to delete all information about your searches within two days. Unlike google which keeps track of everything, when the government legally forces them to present data, kaboom! You’re dead. If tehy do so with Ixquick, there’s nothing to get.
- Don’t include personal information in your searches – Egomaniacs (like myself!) have probably Googled themselves once in a while. But in the process, we’re just helping them build profiles about us. Tsk. Swallowed by one’s own hubris.
- Do your sensitive searches in a public hotspot/terminal – Particularly hotspots that don’t require log-ins. Just be careful though when logging into these public hotspots, crackers might just be on the prowl to get you too!
- Avoid using your ISP’s search engine – If your search engine provider has its own search engine, then don’t use it. Remember, you might have divulged a lot of information to give them when you applied for their service. This makes it easy for them to just keep on building your profile from there.
Jeez. This all makes us all paranoid, doesn’t it? It’s too X-Files for comfort, boiling down to one simple tip – “Trust no one.” Scary.
For the more detailed tips, better read the whole bit from Computerworld.
Here’s a real cool guide on how to set your own Favorites folder location for IE7 in Windows Vista. Yeah, you’d probably need plenty of these tutorials with Vista since it takes the “friendly” out of “user-friendly.” Anyway, here’s the guide, courtesy of IEBlog.
- Open Windows explorer
- Create a new destination folder in an alternate location. Make sure you have full access to folders and drives
- Choose the Source Favorites folder under your user profile
- Right click on the folder and choose Properties
- Go to the location tab and replace C:UsersFavorites with the new drive and destination folder location (for e.g. E:Myfavorites that you have created above)
- Click on the Move button in the select destination dialog, choose the new folder you have created in the steps above and click the Select folder button
- Say “yes” to the confirmation dialog that asks if you would like to move all your files from the old location to the new one
- Hit OK on the properties dialog
For an illustrated guide, go check my source for this, IEBlog. There are other methods like registry edits and redirecting via group policy settings.
So Google has us all nuts with all of their services. And only someone nuttier would probably take score of everything and memorize each and every one of them down to search syntaxes and keyboard shortcuts.
So thank goodness for this guy who just made using Google services a tad easier – the Google Cheat Sheet. It lists these information:
- Google domains
- Company information
- Google Form Elements
- Google Services
- Query structure to access directory listings of music and video files
- Basic Google Calculator operators
- Advanced Google Search operators
- Google Investments
- Fun Google services and tools
- 15 official Google Blogs
- Google Calculator examples
- Search by number examples
Download the Google Cheat Sheet.
I do keep a lot of accounts across the Web. And as a matter of personal security policy, I keep different passwords for each of them. So that means I have to remember each and everyone then type them in whenever I need to access an account. Quite a tedious process if you ask me.
So here’s one freeware that saves us all those woes – AI Roboform. You can use it with IE, Firefox and Netscape browsers. You can now sign-in with just a click of a button. It’s quite secure. You have a master password to protect all of your other passwords stored in the computer. It sits quietly in the system tray while remembering your web account information. It also doubles as a very nice form filler (for those of you who hate filling up forms).
The catch? The free version can only remember 10 passwords. For unlimited passwords, you need to buy the PRO version for $30. Your choice.
Download AI Roboform free version here.
Google’s mail service, Gmail, has now open it’s doors to everyone. No more SMS sign-ups. No more invites. Just a sign-up form to accomplish and 2.8 GBs of mailbox space is all yours.
Your move, Yahoo!.
Soruce: Gmail opens it’s doors at Forever Geek