Apple has recently released Safari 17, an update for its browser on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and it boasts significant improvements to its Private Browsing mode. In this update, Private Browsing finally lives up to its name by offering enhanced privacy features that ensure your online activity remains private.
By default, each tab in Safari’s Private Browsing mode on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS is now isolated from your other tabs. This means that websites are unable to track your activity from the current tab to another session. Additionally, when performing new searches in other tabs, you won’t see any recent private searches suggested. This provides added security and prevents others from accessing your browsing history.
Another important enhancement is that private tabs no longer sync with iCloud. This means that they won’t show up on your other Apple devices, and they won’t work with Handoff or display downloaded files in Safari’s downloads list. Once you close a Private Browsing tab, Safari forgets the pages you visited, your search history, your AutoFill information, and any new cookies or website data from that session.
But the new update goes even further to protect your privacy. Here are some of the additional features that come with the new for-you-eyes-only browsing experience:
1. Face ID, Touch ID, or Password Protection:
Private Browsing mode can now be protected by biometric authentication, such as Face ID or Touch ID, or your device passcode or password. This feature ensures that only you can access your locked incognito tabs, adding an extra layer of security.
2. A Separate Search Engine:
You now have the option to choose separate search engines for regular browsing and Private Browsing. For example, you can select Google as your regular search engine and use DuckDuckGo, which aims to prevent online tracking, as your search engine for Private Browsing. This further enhances the privacy of your browsing experience.
3. Protection Against Extensions That Access Page Content:
Extensions that can read information about the pages you visit are now disabled by default in Private Browsing mode. This provides additional protection against potential privacy and security concerns.
4. Customization Options for Extensions:
Safari 17 allows you to toggle extensions on or off specifically for Private Browsing mode without affecting their status in regular browsing mode. This provides flexibility in managing your extensions and allows you to choose which ones are active when browsing incognito.
5. Automatic Tracker Blocking on Websites:
Private Browsing mode in Safari 17 completely blocks known trackers from loading on web pages, providing advanced tracking and fingerprinting protection.
6. Automatic Removal of Tracking IDs in Links:
Safari 17 also includes Link Tracking Protection, which automatically disables known tracking parameters appended to URLs. This prevents websites from monitoring your movements across the web and building profiles on you.
These new features significantly enhance the privacy and security of Private Browsing in Safari. They allow you to browse the internet without leaving a trace and protect your personal information from being tracked by websites and third-party trackers.
In addition to these privacy enhancements, Safari 17 also includes other new features that work in both regular browsing and Private Browsing modes. These features include speedier Tab Group switching, faster and more relevant search suggestions, and a new screen reader, among others.
Overall, Apple’s Safari 17 update provides a much-improved Private Browsing experience. Whether you want to search for things you don’t want anyone to know about or ensure that websites and trackers aren’t eavesdropping on your activity, updating to Safari 17 is highly recommended. Take advantage of the enhanced privacy features and enjoy a more secure browsing experience on your Apple devices.