Is Safari making secret screenshots of the sites I visit?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macpokerstars, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. macpokerstars macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Hi there,

    I used the program Disk Drill to try and see what kind of files are written on my SSD without me knowing.

    I found out that there are thousands of jpeg's of the websites I visited over the last 2 years.

    These images are screenshots of what is displayed inside Safari windows, so I assume that Safari is doing that. Each of those screenshots is about 100 kb in size.

    Does anyone know if this is normal behaviour from Safari?
    Is there a way to stop that?

    Also, are those screenshot protected by FileVault if FV is enabled?

    Thanks in advance
  2. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008

    FileVault 2 is full-disk encryption, so yes, those mysterious snapshots will be as protected as anything else on your disk, meaning very well protected indeed.

    As to the screen-shots... most odd. I'll be watching this thread for an explanation!
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Every web browser does that and has been doing it forever. It's called the browser cache. It helps load web pages faster.
  4. macpokerstars thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Hi there, thanks for your response.
    I've searched how to securely erase browser cache but couldn't find anything relevant.

    Is there a way I can securely erase browser cache?

    Thanks in advance.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Safari > Empty Cache
  6. kryten2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2012
    Try this :

    Edit : nevermind

    Attached Files:

  7. macpokerstars thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Hi, thanks for your help.

    I am not sure whether clearing the cache from the Safari menu is a SECURE erase or not.

    Anyone know how to securely erase the cache?
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That is how to erase the cache. There is no other way. There is no "secure erase" like there is on OS X trash.
  9. albusseverus macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Browsers certainly don't load a jpeg before they refresh the live site. I'd like to hear from an expert on the subject.

    A jpeg isn't a cache in that sense. It may be used for the Top Sites display, until the individual preview live updates.

    I totally agree with the concern. Just another government requirement, you know, to maintain a free society.

    Do you know if any jpegs were from sites visited in Private browsing? That would be really disturbing.

    A lot of nonsense gets passed off as 'stopping terrorists', but really National Security is about blackmail (the sexy spy cliche is more true today than ever before). The legislation asks for bank records and health records. Not much terrorism in there, but everything to do with blackmail and getting people to do things they know are wrong, for fear of public exposure. Just ask Gen. Petraeus. If you'd like to learn more about what's in the legislation, listen to No Agenda.
  10. macpokerstars thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Hi again,

    I suggested you all download the free version of Disk Drill and run it on your hard drive. Then go to the section Pictures/jpeg and check out the preview of jpeg's that are about 70 to 120 kb.

    Let me know what you find out.

    Regarding Private Browsing, I am not sure whether these pages are stored.
  11. dspsbl macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2013
    This has nothing to do with cache for displaying web page content.

    Images are used for Top Sites page and visual History search.

    Screen shots are not being stored or created while you browse in Private mode.

    You can find a Terminal command to stop Safari taking those screen shots at

    Command typed over there works fine with the latest Safari build.

    P.S. Use Private mode to watch some dirty porn action online - your mom won't notice. Just make sure you keep volume down buddy
  12. Xe89 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2009
    If you want secure erase, try deleting the pictures in the folder ~/Library/Caches/ Previews from the Finder first.
  13. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Worth noting that there's no NEED for a secure erase if your drive already has whole drive encryption. Just deleting it at that point is a secure erase...well, more or less.
  14. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Since you have an SSD, secure delete is not suggested as it just reduces the life of the drive by creating unnecessary write cycles for the drive possibly killing it sooner.

Share This Page