Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Five Firefox Addons to Keep You Secure


Here is a list of firefox addons that I consider mandator to stay safe while browsing the web.

1.  Adblock plus - I like getting adclicks as much as the next blogger, but ads are still a risk for security and privacy.  On the more benign end of the spectrum, ads will place tracking cookies on your system that help them track what you are browsing for and serve ads catered to your viewing habbits.  This could be a privacy and security problem if you don't want people to know that you have been to certain sites. 

The more dangerous side of ads are the ones that serve up malware in attempts to get information such as login information, email addresses, bank account numbers, etc.  Even sites that are otherwise trustworthy can be hit if they put too much trust into their ad networks.

2.  BetterPrivacy - Adobe Flash, everyone uses it.  Did you know that it stores cookies and other data in your firefox profile?  This data won't be erased by deleting history and cookies and other private data through Firefox.  BetterPrivacy will keep track of this information for you and ask if you want to delete it whenever you close firefox.  The only downside I have seen to this so far is that some flash games that have a save-game function will store this information in this manner.  You lose your saved game information if you erase it.

3.  NoScript - Javascript, java, and flash are the most dangerous pieces of Firefox or any other browser.  They are what let web sites pull data from you or make your browser perform actions such as reading data from your firefox profile or even other locations on your computer.  NoScript is a javascript/java/flash/etc. whitelister.  You can use this addon to only allow the running of these types of code on the sites you trust.

4.  Scroogle SSL - Don't trust Google?  Don't like the idea that they keep a log of your searches for 18 months and tie it to your ip address?  Scroogle to the rescue.  Scroogle is a Google scraping website that will run your searches for you.  So no matter what you search for, it will all get tied to the ip address assigned to Scroogle.  Scroogle deletes their logs within 48 hours.  Another problem:  You probably don't want anyone else to be able to sniff your web searches.  Your ISP, your place of work, your school, they can all see what you search for as it is sent through their hardware to Google.  Scroogle SSL fixes both problems.  It doesn't look quite as fancy as Google, but with this search bar addon you can change the search box at the top right to search through an SSL encrypted version of Scroogle instead of an unencrypted Google

5.  Web Of Trust - Web of Trust is an addon that ties you to a database of sites previously visted by other users using this addon and tells you how trustworth the website has been ranked.  You can submit your own ratings for sites, but the most important part is that this addon will give you a full page warning that you must click through before allowing you to visit a site that has been deemed unsafe.

I hope you find this information useful.  If anyone has any other suggestions for privacy and security protection in firefox please leave your suggestions in the comments.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, that + Tor and you'r untraceable!

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  2. Jeez what a great list ill be getting these for sure

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  3. This is a perfect post for any newbie on the net. Will follow and support!

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  4. cool tips man, i use firefox myself and going to add those extras for sure.

    tks

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  5. oh god, now i'm paranoid about google. thanks for the tips

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  6. Yea I use flashblock all the time, noscript is a good program too

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  7. kittie porn will never be the same. lol

    jk

    def not cp

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