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For example, you may have a question about your pet, and use Google to find the answer. You'll end up seeing ads for pet food on various web pages.

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Google is the biggest advertising provider on the web, and millions of websites use Google Ads. So by storing information about you on Google's servers, the company can know which ads are most likely to interest you. Of course they don't know if that search about the cat was really for a friend or neighbor, in which case the ads are incorrectly targeted. In other words, using a search engine is the same as giving away lots of private information about you, your habits, and your life.

The 7 best free Safari extensions for the Mac | Macworld

You may not want to do that. You don't have to use Google: there are a few good alternatives, but most of them store information about you, to build the same kind of profile as Google does. They just may not be used by such as aggressive an ad network as Google's. You could use Microsoft's Bing, for example, or Yahoo! Or, in certain countries, you may want to use a search engine more adapted to your culture. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of search engines , including those that are country-specific.

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You may even want to use specific search engines for certain types of searches. If you're searching for a job, there are several search engines you might want to use. For detailed medical information for doctors and researchers , the Entrez search engine gives you access to specialized databases. And if you're a lawyer, you probably already know about LexisNexis , which provides access to statutes, laws and case opinions from to the present. One note about DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google and other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn't track you, and explicit content is blocked in search results by default.

Most search engines collect as much personal information as they can to build profiles of their users, which can then be used to better target advertising at them across the Internet.

Step 1: Open Preferences

Have you noticed the ads that follow you and your kids around the Internet? That's the direct result of this collection.

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Having each of these Safari interface bars configured to meet your needs can make using the web browser a lot easier, and fun. So go ahead, give the various Safari toolbars a once over. You can't hurt anything, and you may find a few new features or capabilities you didn't know Safari had.

Make Google your default search engine

From the View menu, select Customize Toolbar. Click an item you want to add to the toolbar and drag it to the toolbar. Safari will automatically adjust the size of the address field and the search field to make room for the new item s. When you're finished, click the Done button.

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Nifty tip within a tip: You can quickly customize the toolbar by right-clicking in any open space in the Safari's toolbar, and selecting Customize Toolbar from the popup menu. You can rearrange icons in the toolbar by clicking and dragging them to a new location.

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You can delete an item from the toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Remove Item from the pop-up menu. Some of our favorite toolbar items to add include iCloud Tabs, to easily continue browsing sites right where we left off when using other Macs and iOS devices, and Text Size , so we can quickly change the size of text on a page.

If you get carried away with customizing the toolbar and you're not happy with the result, it's easy to return to the default toolbar.

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The bookmarks bar or favorites bar needs no introduction, except to say that Apple changed the name of the bar from bookmarks to favorites when it released OS X Mavericks. No matter what you call the bar, it's a handy place to store links to your very favorite websites. Check out our tip on how to open up to nine sites in the bookmarks bar from your keyboard:.

Safari supports tabbed browsing , which lets you have multiple pages open without having multiple browser windows open. The status bar displays at the bottom of a Safari window.

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If you let your mouse hover over a link on a web page, the status bar will show the URL for that link, so you can see where you're going before you click the link. In most cases, this isn't terribly important, but sometimes it's nice to check a URL before you actually go to the page, especially if the link is sending you to a different website.

Go ahead and experiment with the Safari toolbar, favorites, tab, and status bar. Our preference is to always have the bars visible.