Safari icon (medium)

Apple on Thursday released an update to its desktop Safari browser for Macs running OS X Mavericks which contains improvements to compatibility and security while introducing a pair of new options for strengthening your privacy when searching.

The first such feature turns on SSL encryption for all Yahoo searches conducted from Safari’s search field. As a result, no one can eavesdrop on what you’re searching for online.

The other adds DuckGoGo, a search engine that does not track you (Google won’t like this) as a built-in option in the search field. Note that Safari in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite already includes DuckGoGo as an option.

Safari 7.1 has arrived on the heels of yesterday’s OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 update which contains Safari 7.0.6 and improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.

Here’s Safari 7.1 changelog:

  • Adds DuckGoGo, a search engine that doesn’t track users, as a built-in option in the search field
  • Encrypts all Yahoo searches from the search field
  • Improves Reader compatibility with websites
  • Improves Autofill compatibility with websites

More about the security content of Safari 7.1 in Apple’s support document here.

For those wondering, DuckGoGO functions much like Chrome’s incognito mode: the search engine doesn’t track you, allowing you to browse the web knowing that your privacy is intact.

Adding DuckDuckGo to Safari in iOS 8, Yosemite and now Mavericks makes it the first “privacy-focused search engine to be added to one of the top four browsers,” said the firm in a recent blog post.

Yesterday, Apple also released the OS X Update 10.9.5. Arriving approximately two months after the 10.9.4 update and ahead of Yosemite’s launch next month, 10.9.5 improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.

OS X 10.9.5 update (Mac App Store prompt 001)

More about the 10.9.5 update:

  • Improves the reliability of VPN connections that use USB smart cards for authentication
  • Improves the reliability of accessing files located on an SMB server
  • Includes Safari 7.0.6

It’s recommended for all Mavericks users.

Note that you need to apply the 10.9.5 update first because it’s required for Safari 7.1.

Simply choose Software Update… under the Mac menu and hit the Updates tab to grab whatever updates are available for your operating system and apps.

Will you be giving DuckDuckGo a try in Safari for Mavericks?

[MacRumors]