Web Browsers FAQ

Updated: 17 Mar 2019


1. How do I use Safari Web Browser?

Mac OS comes with Safari, it uses the WebKit engine which in turn supports the latest HTML 5, CSS, Javascript protocols. It also displays thumbnails of latest visited websites; uses Speculative loading of documents, scripts and styles; full text search of browser history; Safari Reader; extensions to enhance web browsing experience; web inspector; DNS prefetching; and Bing search facilities.

2. How can I reduce the number of Cookies saved on my PC?

You need to increase use Settings, Privacy and set a block cookies level to suit your web sites, for example, 'Allow from website I visit' is suitable in most cases, or select No cookies.

3. Where can I update my version of Safari?

Safari updates come with latest security updates from the Apple Mac Store app, or visit the Apple Support website.

4. Where can I download other web browsers?

If you do not like Safari, try other browsers such as Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.
Other browsers include Lunascape, SRWare Iron.
Older browsers can be found on OldApps.
It is possible to use Internet Explorer on the Mac either via Bootcamp, a Windows virtual machine or via Microsoft Remote Desktop on Azure.

5. I am unable to view web pages, they are not found or blocked?

Check settings in Tools, Internet Options. Make sure that Security settings are not too high (Medium is preferred). If you have a firewall program installed, then check that your browser is allowed access to the internet, and re-check other settings. You need ports 80 (HTTP), 443 (HTTPS) and possibly 21 (FTP) enabled. Also, make sure your connection is active (use ping to check a web site address or gateway address) and use Network Utility to check that you have the correct IP and DNS addresses set up. Sometimes re-dialling your ISP or rebooting your ADSL Modem may help.

6. What ís the difference between JavaScript and Java?

These are two entirely different scripting languages. Javascript is a client-side programming language to provide dynamic web content such as login scripts, check to see what browser you have, picture changes and so on. Safari has Javascript built in. If you look at the html source, you may find code that start with <SCRIPT language="JavaScript">.
Java, is a platform independant programming language by Oracle, and runs programs called applets which runs a Java program called a .class file within a web page, if you look at html source, you may find an entry that looks like: <APPLET CODE="program.class">. Java programs are written using a JDK (Java Development Kit), some are free and some are commercial e.g. NetBeans.

7. How do I clear out the list of web sites I have visited?

In Safari goto Settings, Privacy and Security and click on Clear History and Website Data.

8. How do I enable or disable the auto-storage of username, passwords and other user information?

Open Preferences and on the Autofill tab, and enable the User names and Passwords option.

9. What is a Proxy and where do I change the settings to point to my proxy server?

A Proxy server is a server used to cache web content from web sites visited by users, this improves performance for users as it cuts down traffic to or from the internet when common web sites are accessed. You need to specify the Hostname or address and Port of the proxy server in System Preferences, Network.

10. How do I know what plugins or Extensions are installed?

With Safari you can install add-ons called Extensions, You can view and manage them via the Safari menu and select Safari Extensions.

11. How do I turn off pop up windows in Safari?

Open Safari Preferences, click on the Security tab and tick the box to Block Pop up Windows.

18. How do I prevent access to certain undesirable web pages?

There are plenty of web sites with undesirable content such as those concerned with sex, violence and bad language. You can block these using the Parental Controls feature in System Preferences, this is configured on a per user basis. This is recommended if you have Children to access the internet and need to block sites automatically.

19. What is 'Protected Mode' in the Security tab in Internet Explorer?

Protected Mode isolates the web browser from the system, so that downloads including malware (ad ware, spyware etc) does not infect your Windows system and compromise your personal information to outside sources. Turning off Protected mode for Internet or Intranet websites will cause a warning to appear at the top of the browser.

20. What is Phishing and how do I enable or disable it?

Thieves and fraudsters tend to create fake websites which emulate banks, building societies, auction sites and so on which ask for your personal details and use that information to get your identity and thus use it to steal information, money or goods on the internet. Phishing detection should be left on to detect such sites and block them automatically.
To turn it on or off, in Safari Preferences, in Secury and Privacy, turn on the Fraudulent Website Warning on.

24. How do I change the default download directory?

By default, Safari downloads files directly to your personal Downloads folder. You can change it in Safari Preferences, General tab, and change the setting for 'Save downloaded files to location'.

25. What keyboard shortcuts can I use in Internet Explorer?

Shortcut Description
Opt+Cmd+1 Show top sites
Opt+Cmd+2 Show collections
Cmd+L Address line
Cmd+D New bookmark
Cmd+Shift+N New private window
Cmd+1 to 9 Jump to bookmark #
Cmd+Shift+l Send email with link
Cmd+l Send email
F12 Developer tools
Cmd+T Open new tab
Cmd+Shift+W Close window
Cmd+W Close current tab
Cmd+Opt+W Close all tabs
Cmd+N New windows
Cmd+M Minimise window
Cmd+H Hide safari windows
Cmd+` Jump to next window
Cmd+Q Close Safari

26. How can I tell what version of Adobe Flash or Shockwave I have installed?

There are a couple of tester pages to check the version of Flash and Shockwave. If you find that you have an out of date version, you can update them via the appropiate link on Adobe's main page. Note that other browsers such as Firefox require their own version of Flash Player.

27. Where can I get other plugins for Safari?

a) Silverlight - Microsoft's multi-platform media plugin.
b) SVG Viewer - a scalable vector graphics plug-in.
c) Citrix Receiver - Web plugin for access to Citrix Presentation servers.
d) Java JRE - Java plugin.