Still not using the FireFox web browser? Why not? For the most part I always thought that a browser was a browser was a browser. Then tabbed browsing was invented (Internet Explorer has still not gotten in on that action) so I switched to SlimBrowser, which is IE based. I began having problems with SlimBrowser so I switched over to FireFox and I have not looked back. Just FYI, the tabbed browsing feature in FireFox has to be downloaded separately, but that’s not what this post is about.
With all Mozilla browsers (versions 1.2 or later), FireFox and Netscape 7.1 included, Google offers prefetching of search results. If you are using FireFox and you go to Google to perform a search, as soon as your search results page appears, Google may begin downloading in your cache the #1 result. The purpose of this is so if you do click on that top result that page downloads more quickly for you. Less wait time, for those still not on high speed connection.
The downside of this is that you can find unwanted and unvisited sites in your computer cache. This can make it appear that you’ve been surfing to pages that you simply have not been. For those surfing in a corporate environment this can be problems if the pre-fetched sites set off certain types of notifications to those who monitor such activity.
If you are like me and you routinely monitor where your kids go on the Internet, this may offer a few surprises and your children denying they had ever been to such a site, which may actually be true despite the “evidence”.
According to the Google’s Prefetching information: In FireFox, you can disable prefetching by doing the following:
1. Type “about:config” the address bar.
2. Scroll down to the setting “network.prefetch-next” and set the value to “False”.
To set the value, simply right click and select “toggle”.