"Freak" Bug Update

        John Carter passes along some VERY important info.  "Both Microsoft and Apple have announced that they have released a patch for the FREAK bug. See full article here.
        "In this article, it explains a lot more about the 'Freak' bug and what you can do to find out if your browser is safe to use and even if a website you want to visit is safe to use. The article is written for Mac users, but the method for determining if your browser is safe is essentially the same." 

        John continues, "For all users, check this site to determine if the website you want to visit is secure. The sad news is that your favorite website may fail. It could be only because the site does not have an updated security certificate, or it may be vulnerable to an attack by some issue other than FREAK, so you’re just going to have to take your chances if you insist on going there. For example, my personal website is vulnerable because the hosting service is vulnerable.
        "I have tested the latest Safari browser and have determined that it is safe to use - and this was confirmed after the latest Apple security updates have been installed. I have also just updated Windows 8.1 and tested MSIE and found it to be safe. 
        "The Win 10 Beta with the latest updates is secure for MSIE, Firefox, and Chrome.
        "However, Windows 7, even with the latest update, still has the vulnerable MSIE, and this also applies to both the latest Firefox and Chrome browsers on Win 7. Please continue to monitor your Windows 7 update for updates.
        "It is still recommended that Firefox be the browser to use (instead of MSIE or Safari)."
        John concludes with this, "In addition, Apple has just release iOS 8.2 for the iPhone and iPad, and this release fixes the FREAK bug for those devices. See full article here."

Search Privacy

        Here's some input from Jim Hays,   "In a recent posting David Passell mentioned using "duck duck go" to ensure search privacy. Another option is Startpage ( which claims to be 'the only third-party certified search engine in the world that does not record your IP address or track your searches.' 
        "StartPage is compatible with a broad range of browsers including Firefox, Safari and Chrome. StartPage can also be used to visit third-party websites with total privacy by using the StartPage Proxy."

How to Configure Safari

          Here's something that might be helpful.  John Carter sends us this: 

How do you configure Safari to have a specific search engine as the default?
        Start by clearing any text the Address Bar. Then click on the spotlight.
A menu pops up. Then click on the search engine you want to be default:  
To specify the default search engine in Firefox, click on the spotlight in the Search Bar:  

Then click on Change Search Engine Settings. A whole new window opens with many options to choose from.
        Toolbar is the name of the top portion of any application. It usually contains icons of functions. Here is the Toolbar of Safari:
Here is the Toolbar of Firefox:
Based on that alone, Safari leaves a tiny bit more space for a website than Firefox does.
        Notice that the Tab Bar in Safari is below the Favorites Bar. With Firefox, it is above the Address Bar. The position of the Tab Bar is configurable. When looking at a single page, the Tab Bar can be hidden.
        With Firefox, you add many more rows of stuff in the Toolbar (additional search engines and toolbars) and that takes away even more space from a web page. So don’t add additional search engines or toolbars. And if you have them, remove them. You only need the default.
        Bookmarks are only found in a browser (or in iBooks, but that’s a totally different kind).
There are two types of bookmarks. In the Toolbar, you’ll find your Favorites just under the Address Bar. That’s a list of bookmarks for quick reference (without having to open the full list). The other type of bookmarks is the full list. For Safari, you click on the  symbol in the Toolbar, then click on the
symbol in the sidebar:
It's different for FirefoxClick on the 
symbol in the Toolbar to access the Bookmarks.
        There are some websites that you will have to use Firefox to make it display properly, so if something doesn’t work with Safari, try Firefox.
        For more tips on how to use Safari, I recommend the NoteBoom tutorials here.   # 

Another Search Engine for Privacy

         Ginger Carlson passes along this information:  "Here's another search engine that is supposed to protect one's privacy that a friend told me about.  I have downloaded it and used it a few times.
        "If you go to it has a search block and beneath it "Add to Firefox" (which is her browser).  It works for Safari, too.  When I downloaded it I thought the download hadn't worked until I noticed the tiny little "SP" icon on the left side of the address bar."  

Which Browser is Best?

        "Here is the most comprehensive review of browsers on a Mac that I've ever read. You — and I, for sure — probably won't understand or appreciate all the technical jargon used in the testing," Jim Hamm introduces us to this topic. 
        Read about these four: Safari 7.0.3, Firefox 28.0. Chrome 34.0.1847.116, and Opera in a 10-page report.

        Jim goes on to explain,  "It used to be the emphasis was on speed of the browser, but no longer is this considered so important. There are many factors involved in browsing the web, playing games, etc., as the author explains. 

        "Which browser is considered best on a Mac? Well, if this is important to you, read on to see what the testing says. But, realistically, the browser that suits your needs is the browser that's best for you.
        And Jim concludes, "It was interesting — to me, anyway — to read how the author went about the testing. Might be a bit too geeky for many folks, though."

Try on Firefox: "No Style"

         Find it easier to read black text on a white background?  YES.  David Passell shares this, "if you use Firefox, there is another good trick which I find even more useful for those websites with garish colors and text and photos spread over (and sometimes off the sides) of the screen. 
             In the top menu click on view. 
             Then scroll down to Page Style.
             Click on Page Style and in the menu presented (to the right) you will see 
             No Style and Basic Page Style (the default). 
             Click on No Style.
        The page will change to a more 'linear' presentation. The pictures will still appear as intended, but odd colors and white on black text will be black on white. You will have to scroll up and down to find various links, but not side-to-side when things are off the screen. You can also print the page  and not waste a lot of black ink. Try it on our PMUG newsletter. 
        Unfortunately, I could find no equivalent option for Safari."
        And David reminds us about a previous post about Safari where we had said, "One site came up with those tiny white letters on a black background, so that’s when you can do Command and Option and Control and the number 8 to toggle over to readable text, then toggle back."

About Firefox

It was a very short email from our travelin' man Jim Hamm, "If you use Firefox as a browser, you may want to take a look at this manual."          So, is this the best browser? we asked.  And Jim and Zee somewhere along the Mississippi River on a tour wrote back,  "No, Firefox not my favorite browser. I don't have a favorite. I rotate between FF, Safari, Maxthon and Chrome. They all work well. FF does probably have more extensions and add-ons than other browsers, and they are useful. I don't happen to have FF installed on my MacBook Air or I could share the add-ons I find helpful."  So, we'll probably hear more a little later.