1. Delete items from address bar history
While it’s very handy to have your recently visited pages autocompleted as you type, it’s not always desirable. Go to the address bar (Ctrl-L), start typing an address, and the drop-down menu will appear with the URLs of pages you’ve visited. You can highlight and delete these at will, for maximum privacy.

2. Protect your PC from malware
You don’t have to visit the seedy side of the web to pick up a virus – even the best social networking sites regularly host all kinds of malware. But you can reduce the chance of infection by installing NoScript. This handy add-on blocks Javascript, Java, Flash and other executable content from running unless you explicitly allow it, and is a great way to keep yourself safe online.

3. Speedily search for images
Browse Google images and your results are split into blocks of 21. But use CoolIris and you’ll get all your results displayed on a 3D photo wall, a much faster and easier way to find the images you need. It only works with some sites, unfortunately, but as these include Google, Flickr, Picasa, Yahoo, Photobucket, Facebook and MySpace then you’ll still have plenty to browse. Especially as it searches and displays YouTube videos, too. Give it a try. More »

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 »

A new, or rather a newly revised threat may be coming to a browser near you. It’s called Clickjacking and it can affect all browsers. It first appeared a few years ago but little was heard of it after the first warnings. It looks like it might be back though the threat level is still quite low at the moment but these things can quickly spiral out of control. Here’s how it works. If a hacker can get access to a website they can fiddle with buttons and graphics so that if you click on what appears to be a legitimate link what actually happens is you are directed to a phoney or fake site where you unwittingly enter personal details, or in a worse case scenario, clicking the link downloads malicious software onto your PC. Of course the same kind of thing can be found on less reputable websites.

Microsoft and Mozilla have released fixes in the past but there is a way to stop clickjacking in its tracks, on Firefox at least, and that’s to install an add-on called No-Script. This creates a white list of trusted sites by blocking any attempt to run an unapproved or suspicious script within a web page. More »

There can be many scenarios that can cause Firefox to freeze. Freezing/hanging is different from a crash. A crash is when the browser closes unexpectedly. Freezing means not responding your actions.

Check the following symptoms and how to troubleshoot hang/freeze problems.

1. Froze while loading/starting Firefox:

Check your Extensions and Plug-ins:

Determine when the problem started. Check whether it is a problem with an extension that you have recently installed. Some extensions might cause problems like slowing down the browser or freezing up. More »