Let’s face it, we hate to type unnecessary stuff, so if our browser can fill out information for us we’re on board!
Autofill is the feature that automatically completes form data with information you have previously entered.
However handy this might seem, it presents a huge privacy and security risk. The information that is saved in your browser – names, addresses, passwords… even credit card numbers – can be stolen through shady scammers websites and in other ways. You can read more about it here: Autofill flaw lets scammers steal credit card information
The safest option is always type the information. If you use a password manager like LastPass or KeePass copy and paste the information instead of using an autofill feature or plugin.
Disabling Autofill and Saving Passwords features in Chrome
Go to the Settings Menu Option
Click on the 3 dots button to view the menu
Click on Settings
Go to the bottom of the Settings page and click on Shows advanced settings…
Go to the section Passwords and forms and remove the checkmark on the following options. This will disable both the autofill option and the save passwords option.
You’re all set!
Disabling Autofill and Saving Passwords features in Firefox
Click on the “Open” button (3 lines button)
Click on Options
On the left menu click on Privacy
On the History section change to “Use Custom settings for history”
Remove the checkmark on “Remember search and form history”
To also disable websites login information (user/password combinations):
On the left menu click on Security
On the Logins section remove the checkmark “Remember login for sites”
Flash is phasing out. Every day fewer websites run with Flash since they have replaced it with HTML5 and other formats. Why? Among other things Flash is VERY insecure. For example, there are a lot of flash ads that right now are being injected with malicious code in order to infect everybody visiting certain sites with those ads. You don’t have to click on anything, you don’t have to download a file, you’ll be infected just by getting there.
If you don’t use flash it’s best to disable it, but if you need it from time to time (certain websites and devices still only use Flash), set your browser to “Ask First” and update to the latest Adobe Flash Player Version https://get.adobe.com/es/flashplayer/.
Disabling Flash in Chrome
The easiest and fastest way to do it is typing on the location bar:
Or if you want the long and click-y version, click on the upper right menu and click on Settings.
On the window that will appear go to the bottom and click on Advanced. More options will appear including “Content Settings”
Click on that option, it will show the same information that on Figure 1 above.
You’ll see an option for Flash, click on it.
If you want Chrome to ask before running Flash make sure your setup looks like the picture below. This picture shows that Chrome is allowing sites to run Flash but also to ask before running it on a website.
The next time a website is trying to use flash a dialog similar to this will appear:
If you want to completely disable Flash, disable Allow sites to run flash clicking on the blue button, the text now will change to Block sites from running Flash
This window also has the option to block and allow flash per website, either manually or if you selected “Ask First” it will remember your choice of Allow/Block for individual sites.
Disabling Flash in Firefox
Click on the menu symbol on the upper right corner and click on add-ons or on the location bar type about:addons
On the left side menu, click on Plugins Search for Shockwave Flash or Shockwave for Director (Annoyingly this was the previous name for the Flash plugin).
Here you can choose “Ask to Activate“, which in essence would make Firefox to ask to activate Flash in case a site needs it. (See Figure below). Nowadays, this would be rare, since most Flash on the Internet is in ads, not actual content, and even sites who use Flash have an alternate version without it. So you can disable Flash for good, selecting Never Activate. You will see something like this in a web page which only uses Flash.
My personal recommendation is to disable Flash since these vulnerabilities are recurrent.
If you want to know how to disable Flash on Internet Explorer:
So you started up your (always awful) Monday with this Chrome warning and you’re panicking because your trusted extension uBlock which is supposed to protect you from evil (ads) is turning into the Devil himself.
Read and CHANGE my data? Change my privacy settings? Hell no!
Well, it turns out that it kind of always has been this way and it’s needed for the reasons cited in this link here: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/About-the-required-permissions
But if you need the recap (TL;DR):
uBlock, and other ad-blockers need to read your data so
They can cancel requests to the network (like the ads, right?)
To block popups
To disable the “quick loading of web pages”.. wait what? yes, so no connections are opened to unwanted sites. So, this is for your own good.
In conclusion: It’s safe, it’s normal and just click re-enable 🙂
For any reason you want to remove your Internet activities and thus hide them from your spouse, boss, potential employer or another entity, here are some tips and directions:
Deleting your Internet History from your Browser
Locate the Chrome Control Center upper right corner of the browser. You should see a symbol with some horizontal lines
2. Click on History as the Figure below shows:
3. Your browser Internet history will appear. Click on the button “Clear browsing data”
4. In the next window you can select which elements to delete and the time range. If you want to delete only your history, check only the first 2 options. If you check Passwords, for instance, all the passwords previously saved in your favorite websites will be removed.
5. Click on Clear browsing data again.
6. Excellent job!
Note: Chrome lacks the feature to remove history on exit, but there are several extensions you can integrate to the browser to accomplish that function.
In the upper right corner of the Firefox Window locate a symbol with some horizontal lines.
Click on it and the windows below will appear.
Cllick on the History symbol
After you’ve clicked the History option. The following window will appear:
4. Click on “Clear Recent History”
That option will take you to the next window.
Here you can delete ALL your history (Everything) or just the last few hours or the last day, as well as select WHICH elements you want to delete, not just History but Cookies and Cache, Form-saved fields, etc.
5. Click on Clear Now and You’re Done!.
In Firefox you also have the option to delete the history while closing the browser. For more detailed instructions click on this post.
Are you kidding? Use another browser.
If you use more than one browser it makes sense not to want to do this individually. Worry not, there are apps for that (well, actually computer programs)
Both programs would let you not only to delete your internet history (and related content), but empty your Trash Bin, delete the lists of the files you’ve recently used on Windows (MRU), among other advanced features.
Also, if you don’t want your browser to store any History information anymore you could always use incognito mode.
Removing your Google Internet Search History
Ok, now you’re computer is rid of your whole internet activities. That doesn’t mean your activity on the sites you’ve visited is gone. Don’t worry, most sites would delete that info after a while (sometimes they have to store that info for legal/law issues), but what about what you’ve searched on Google? Yeah, you want that gone too, you want that gone now!
Well, I was going to take some screenshots but Google Help has this documented nicely. Just click here to get directions on how to remove your Google History from your Computer or Smartphone. Also (like myself) to disable the History records.
If for some legitimate or paranoid reasons you wish to go anonymous on the Internet, you can use Tor, an anonymity browser which doesn’t store anything on the browser and which doesn’t let the sites know your real IP. Covering Tor, its capabilities, disadvantages and potential legal issues, is quite extensive for this post.