With the advent of Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft introduced a feature designed to allow end users to easily hide their browsing history from people sharing the same computer.

However, even though IE8 came with the promise of complete browsing privacy, components intimately connected with the browser, such as Adobe Flash Player were still collecting and storing data, irrespective of the fact that users had opted for the contrary. That is no longer the case with the latest update for Flash.

By activating InPrivate Browsing, IE8 users could navigate to any website they wanted without the browser keeping any sort of data as to the locations they visited. The default behavior for all browsers is to store a plethora of information including cookies, favorites, temporary Internet files, history, form saved data, passwords etc.

All of the saved information makes it possible to re-trace the browsing history of users. IE8’s InPrivate Browsing mode made sure that no data would be collected from browsing sessions. As of version 10.1, Adobe Flash also supports the InPrivate feature of IE8. More »

USB flash drives have become really handy in storing different files of various sizes including, backups, personal documents, music, pictures, portable applications and more. Flash drives turned out to be so convenient that people start pouring in files of any kind without sorting them.

Because of these habits, flash drives end up getting real messy quickly and it becomes difficult to figure out how to clear up disk space to accommodate more files.

Deleting unnecessary files is a good solution, but can be tough to do when files aren’t properly organized. If you want to clear up disk space the fastest way possible, the best problem solver to this is by formatting your USB flash drive directly.

The advantages of doing this is that your flash drive is wiped completely clean, removing all files regardless of their attributes (including hidden files). Here are the basic steps in reformatting your USB flash drive: More »

Even though Windows 7 is essentially the evolution of Windows Vista, as the operating system is available in public Beta, users of the development milestone will inherently come across glitches, including hardware incompatibility problems. Furthermore, some Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 testers are bound to run into incompatibility issues even with Microsoft’s own hardware products, namely the peripherals that the company is building through its hardware division. However, the software giant already has software in place designed to make its hardware products play nice with Windows 7 Beta.

According to Microsoft, the Habu Laser Gaming Mouse and the Reclusa Gaming Keyboard do not have Beta software available for Windows 7 Beta. “Habu Laser Gaming Mouse will continue to have basic functionality without an additional software download. Reclusa Gaming Keyboard will continue to have basic functionality without an additional software download,” the company informed. More »

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There’s no easy way to secure IE against similar flaws that will inevitably be discovered and used by hackers to their advantage in the future. For this reason and in response to pleas for help by many Pctipsbox readers here’s my recommendation on the best way to surf the Web more securely:

Step 1: Switch to Firefox, Opera, Chrome, or another contender and configure it to be your default browser. Use IE only to visit sites that require Microsoft-specific technology probably because they rely on ActiveX to function. (For example, you need to use IE to download patches at the Windows Update site.) I recommend Firefox because of the numerous add-ons available for that browser, some of which I describe in Steps 2 and 3.

Step 2: Install the Firefox add-ons known as User Agent Switcher (see UAS’s download page) and IE Tab (download page).

User Agent Switcher lets you change your browser’s identity. If a Web site demands the use of IE but actually works fine with other browsers, you can change the name of the operating system and browser the site thinks you’re using. Many “IE only” sites render perfectly well in Firefox and other browsers. More »