Information Technology

Web Browser Settings

With more and more personal data about you now arriving on your computer in electronic format (e.g. your pay advice) and with WISER, UMass Boston email, and Blackboard all using a common authentication system, it is more important than ever for you to have the correct security settings in place, especially if you share your computer with another person, such as in a library, at a kiosk, or in any other public place.

The steps listed below will allow you to clear out personal information from the browser you are using (cookies, etc.) and set your browser to clear cache (data that is stored on your local computer every time you browse the internet) and browsing history on exit.

Note: Cookies and cached items can often be useful, for instance Amazon or Gmail will remember who you are from session to session by using cookies. Removing all cookies from your computer will cause such web sites to forget you, your preferences, and your login information. There is nothing inherently bad about cookies, history items, or cached data unless it might be used by someone else. Follow these instructions if you are concerned that someone else might use the computer after you and access your data.

You will need to follow these instructions is you are having trouble signing into a Secure Access (SA) web page, such as WISER or HR Direct. Remember to always sign out of SA systems when you are finished to prevent future problems signing in.

If you have questions about anything in this page, please contact the IT Service Desk at (617) 287-5220 or by email at  ITServiceDesk@umb.edu

Clearing Browser History and Cache -

Windows

Internet Explorer

  • To clear cookies and cache in Internet Explorer, press CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE
  • Ensure that there is a check mark against “Temporary Internet Files” & “Download History”
  • Click “delete” in the pop-up window

Set browser to “Delete browsing history on exit”

  • Go to Control Panel.
  • Click Internet Options.
  • Place a check in the box that says “Delete browsing history on exit”.
  • Click “OK”.

Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed

  • Go to the Advanced tab in Internet Options.
  • Place a check in the box that says “Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed.
  • Click “OK”.

Firefox

  • To clear cookies and cache in Firefox, press CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE
  • For time range to clear, select “Everything” from the drop down list
  • Ensure that there is a check mark against “Browsing and Download History” and “Cache”.
  • Click on “Clear Now”

Delete History

  • In the menu, go to Tools > Options
  • Click the Privacy tab.
  • Look under History.
  • Select “Never remember history”.
  • Next, click on the link in the line that says “You may want to clear all current history”.
  • Time range to clear should be set to “Everything”.
  • Click on the button that says “Clear Now”
  • Close Preferences by clicking on “OK”

In addition to clearing the browser-specific caches (See below) you must manually remove any files your browser downloaded, even if you didn’t mean to.  For instance, if you visited the HR site and looked at your paystub, a copy was placed in the folder to which your browser saves downloaded files; you should delete that and empty the recycle bin.  (Note: the paystubs generally end with SSPUSADV.pdf.) The default location for downloaded files might be the Desktop or the Downloads folder.  Do look for it.

Clearing Browser History and Cache -

Mac OS X

For all Browsers

In addition to clearing the browser-specific caches (See below) you must manually remove any files your browser downloaded, even if you didn’t mean to. 

For instance, if you visited the HR site and looked at your paystub, a copy was placed in the folder to which your browser saves downloaded files; you should delete that and empty the Macintosh’s trash. 

(Note: the paystubs generally end with SSPUSADV.pdf.)  

Depending on the age of the Mac you’re using the default location for downloaded files might be the Desktop or the Downloads folder.  DO look for it.

Safari

  • Click on the Safari menu and select “Reset Safari”.
  • In the new window that appears, check the boxes for which you want to remove the data.  (If you’re on a public computer, check ALL the boxes.)
  • Press the Reset button.
  • Now delete out any files you may have downloaded. (See above.)

Firefox

  • Click on the Tools menu and select “Clear Recent History”.
  • In the new window that appears, check the boxes for which you want to remove the data, and use the time range drop-down list to determine how far back to remove data. 
  • (Clicking the triangle next to Details will show/hide the list of options.  If you’re on a public computer, check ALL the boxes and set the time range to “Everything”.)
  • Press the Clear Now button.
  • Now delete out any files you may have downloaded. (See above.)

Chrome

  • Click on the Wrench icon to the right of the URL field and select Tools from the first dropdown list and Clear Browsing Data from the second list.
  • In the new window that appears, check the boxes for which you want to remove the data, and use the time range drop-down list to determine how far back to remove data. 
  • (If you’re on a public computer, check ALL the boxes and set the time range to “the beginning of time”.)
  • Press the Clear Browsing Data button.
  • Now delete out any files you may have downloaded. (See above.)

iPad / iPhone

  • Tap on the Settings icon
  • In the left pane, tap Safari
  • In the right pane, tap “Clear Cookies and Data,” and optionally “Clear History.”
  • Under privacy, “Accept Cookies” should be set to “From Visited.”
  • To see what data websites are currently storing on your device, tap Advanced, then tap “Website Data.”

Don’t take the bait! IT will never ask you for your username and password via email. Phishing e-mails attempt to deceive you into giving up private information in a response to a message or by leading you to a fraudulent web site. Learn more about phishing and how to avoid identity theft on our Phishing page.