Web browser software downloads a copy of every web page you visit and stores these copies to make displaying web pages faster and more efficient. Unless you indicate otherwise, the saved copies of pages remain on your computer for an indefinite period. This is your browser cache. Your web browser may also store other information such as cookies, form responses, preferences and history of pages visited.
If you access secure data such as your department's budget information via the web you are in effect storing sensitive information on your local computer because of the cached web pages stored by your web browser software.
To ensure that you don't inadvertently store sensitive information locally you should empty or clear your browser's cache after each online session. You can do this manually each time or with some web browsers save this option as a preference to always clear the cache on closing the program. Below please find instructions for clearing your browser cache manually and, where possible, setting a preference to clear the cache on closing the browser.
You may also want to clear cookies, particularly after using AC Data. You can get a "too many cookies" error using AC Data if you used the browser back arrow and/or closed the program abruptly. Clear your browser cookies to stop the "too many cookies" error message and be able to access AC Data.
- From the menu, select Tools then Internet Options.
- Click the General tab.
- To empty your cache, in the Browsing history section click the Delete button. Uncheck the box for Preserve Favorites website data. Check the boxes for Temporary Internet Files and Cookies. Click the Delete button.
- To set Internet Explorer to always empty your cache on closing, in the Browsing history section, check the Delete browsing history on exit box.
- Click OK.
- From the menu, select Tools then Internet Options. Alternately click the cog-shaped icon, found in the top right corner of the browser window, just beneath the red X, and to the immediate right of the star icon, then select Internet Options.
- Click the General tab.
- To empty your cache, in the Browsing history section, click the Delete button. Uncheck the box for Preserve Favorites website data. Check the boxes for Temporary Internet Files and Cookies. Click the Delete button.
- To set Internet Explorer to always empty your cache on closing, in the Browsing history section check the Delete browsing history on exit box.
- Click OK.
- Click to open the Firefox drop-down menu (the text Firefox has an orange background). The drop-down menu is found in the very top left corner of the browser window, above the website address area. Select the History option. Alternately, from the Firefox menu select Tools.
- Select Clear Recent History. Set the Time Range To Clear to Everything. Click on the Details drop down below and make sure the Cache box is checked. You can check or uncheck the other boxes as you prefer (such as Browsing and Download History, Cookies, etc.). Click the Clear Now button on the bottom. This will clear your Mozilla Firefox Cache.
- To set Firefox to always clear your cache on closing, from the Firefox drop-down menu select Options then Options again then select the Privacy icon. Alternately, from the Tools options select Options then select the Privacy icon. In the History section, for "Firefox will:" select the option Never remember history. Click OK.
Safari does not provide a way to automatically clear its cache; you have to do it manually. Make it a habit to clear the cache every time you use Safari, just before closing the program.
- From the menu, select Safari then Empty Cache.
- Click the Empty button.
- Click the Spanner or Wrench icon found in the top right corner of the window.
- To empty your cache, select Options then Clear Browsing Data…. Make sure the “Obliterate the following items from:” time range at the top of the window is set to “the beginning of time.” Check the box that says Empty the Cache. If you intend to preserve other data such as browsing or download history, uncheck the other boxes as you see fit. Click the Clear Browsing Data button at the bottom of the window the clear the cache.