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Firefox addons for maximizing security and privacy

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posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:32 AM
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I've spent many years using the Firefox web browser and in that time I've tried out a great deal of the addons available for Firefox. In this thread I'm going to present a compatible list of some of the best addons and explain what they do. I was going to make this a general guide about overall computer security and talk about firewalls and anti-virus software but I figured most people already know enough about that stuff, so I'm just going to focus on Firefox addons. Many of these addons are available for other web browsers so this guide doesn't apply only to Firefox.

[1st Addon in List Removed By Request of ATS Staff]

NoScript Security Suite

This is another must have addon which will disable scripts and other dynamic objects from automatically running when you visit a web page. This can provide a huge boost in your level of security because you can click all the dodgy links you want and not have to worry about a dangerous script activating in your browser because of that site. This also prevents all websites from loading their huge range of 3rd party tracking scripts and other crap that you don't want running in your browser. In order to enable scripts from a specific domain you must first white list the page within the drop down menu of NoScript. After you have white listed all your favourite sites you wont have to bother with it much.

Ghostery

This is also another must have addon which complements the first two nicely. It blocks all sorts trackers, beacons and bugs which can be used to monitor your browsing activities and invade your privacy. Unlike NoScript it is capable of blocking those tricky bugs such as invisible image/pixel trackers which only make use of standard HTML. This addon combined with [data expunged] and NoScript are so effective at blocking adverts and trackers that marketing pundits have referred to them as The Trifecta Of Evil. It is highly recommended to have all three of these addons installed for maximum protection.

Better Privacy

This addon will allow you to manage and remove LSO cookies, also known as Flash cookies (because they are used by the Flash plug-in). These are typically very hard to remove because there is no menu or option within the Firefox settings which allow you to remove these cookies. LSO's are a new generation of "super cookies" which provide advertisers with long term tracking capabilities (they can be set to never expire) which offer more storage capacity than normal cookies and can allow for cross-browser tracking. As such they pose a large threat to user privacy. With this addon you have the option to delete and manage your LSO cookies in a user friendly fashion.

Web of Trust - WOT

This addon will help you determine whether or not a website is trustworthy by allowing users to vote on websites and giving them a ranking/reputation based on how people rate them. The little WOT icon will turn green if a website is trustworthy, yellow if it has a below average rating, and red if it has a very poor rating. The WOT icon will also appear next to links in Google search results and other search engines, as well as links posted to social networks sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even links in email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. You can also click on the icon to get more detailed information and read user reviews about the website in question.

Browser Protect

This addon will monitor your web browser settings and stop other applications from hijacking your browser and changing things like your default search provider, your homepage, your addons and pug-ins, etc. It will prompt you when ever it detects a hijack attempt and give you a set of options for dealing with the problem. I personally have never had it prompt me about anything but that's probably just because I'm careful. I would still recommend that you get this addon if you're sick of other software changing your browser settings.

ipFlood

This addon claims to simulate the use of a series of proxies changing at each new connection. It's not as effective as using a real proxy and it doesn't seem to completely hide your IP address, but it can be useful for some websites where you want to cause as much confusion as possible and make it harder to discern what your real IP address is. I tend to have this addon disabled most of the time because it can cause problems on websites where you need to login and it can totally break other websites. But it is a neat addon to have at your disposal for when you need it.

Keylogger Beater

This addon is designed to defeat keylogging software so that you can conduct your online banking and shopping with peace of mind. Any time you need to enter a password or any type of sensitive information you can simply right click in the text field and select "Keylogger Beater" from the context menu. This will present you with a character chart which gives you several different methods for inputting your password. I personally think the best method is to hover your mouse over the letters and numbers so that you can input your password without having to type or click.

ShowIP

This addon will allow you to see the IP address of the current page in the status bar along with other useful information such as the ISP and the location of the server. It will also allow you to quickly perform common tasks like a whois lookup and other useful functions which provide information about the IP address of the current page. This is a very handy addon to have and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to check the IP addresses of the websites they visit.

User Agent Switcher

This addon will give you the ability to switch your user agent string. This can be useful for several different reasons because it allows you to pretend that you are using a different web browser. Many websites hide extra content from regular users but show it to search bots like the Google web crawler so that they get a higher ranking in the Google search results. You can unhide that content by spoofing a fake user agent string and trick those websites into showing you the hidden content.

RightToClick

This addon will restore your ability to right click, select text, drag and drop, and other actions that are often disabled via JavaScript. Many websites prevent you from right clicking and copying their content for copyright purposes, but they are foolish to believe that JavaScript will stop anyone from copying their content. With addons like this one it's very easy to stop that annoying JavaScript from hindering your ability to right click and perform other "forbidden" tasks.

Public Fox

This addon will "lock down" parts of Firefox so that they cannot be changed without a password. Depending on how you configure this addon it can lock down a lot of different things including your browser settings and your about:config settings, as well as your bookmarks and addons (so that this addon cannot be uninstalled). I haven't been using this addon for very long so I'm not exactly sure how secure it is or how easy it would be to circumvent but it seems pretty good so far.

HTTPS Everywhere

This addon will prevent you from viewing a web page via a standard unencrypted HTTP connection when it is also available via a secure HTTPS connection. Many websites are available via HTTPS but they default to HTTP or fill their website with links which take you back the HTTP version of the site. This addon solves that problem by enforcing the use of HTTPS connections where ever they are available (it uses an internal ruleset to know which websites are available via HTTPS).

HTTPS Finder

This addon is designed to be used in conjunction with the HTTPS Everywhere addon. As you browse the internet it will automatically check each website to see if they support HTTPS and it will automate the process of rule creation for HTTPS Everywhere so that you don't have to manually add new websites into the list. When it detects a website which supports HTTPS it will check to make sure the certificate is valid and then it will give you the option of saving the auto-generated rule into HTTPS Everywhere.

 


Well that is the end of the list. I hope you have enjoyed this thread and I hope you find it useful. If you have any more suggestions which you think deserve to be in this list let me know. You may have noticed that I left out any proxy addons and there is a good reason for that. Proxies are useful for circumventing country specific limitations and masking your IP address but at the end of the day they don't really make you safer. You need to remember that everything you do might be recorded by the proxy server, so unless you totally trust the proxy you are using it does not make you safer.
edit on 26/1/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:42 AM
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[snip]

Ghostery + NoScript is a super powerful combo by itself.
edit on 26-1-2014 by elevatedone because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 01:18 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 02:57 AM
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A couple more addons which fit the list:


CacheViewer

Allows searching, sorting and saving of cache files.



Cookies Manager+

Cookies manager to view, edit and create new cookies.


Here's another useful program which isn't a Firefox Addon pre se (it used to be a Firefox addon), but it is used with Firefox:


KeyScrambler

The moment You begin to type, KeyScrambler begins encrypting your keystrokes in real time at the keyboard driver level. Because KeyScrambler is located in the kernel, deep in the operating system, bypassing KeyScrambler's encryption is difficult.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Redirect Remover
Removes Redirects like "http://redirectremover.mozdev.org/?www.mozilla.org" from Links and Images

Very handy.
edit on 26-1-2014 by verschickter because: fixed link



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 07:53 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


I just stumbled across two interesting ones yesterday:

Lightbeam
Lightbeam is a Firefox add-on that uses interactive visualizations to show you the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user.

This one, I found to be quite interesting:
TrackMeNot
Protects privacy in web-search. By issuing randomized queries to popular search-engines, including Google, Bing, and Baidu, TrackMeNot obfuscates users' search data profiles.
edit on 26-1-2014 by sageturkey because: Add



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


very informative, thank you. just bookmarked this page for future reference. i just wish i could figure out how to keep my settings on FF from going away when i use Ccleaner.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


thank you for some very informative information i spent hours last night after my browser was hijacked i wish i had seen this thread then



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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With Firefox, you can decide to manually accept or refuse each individual cookies.

It's a bit of a hassle when first visiting pages but it's worth it!
Most pop-ups appear blank, it puts a stop to a lot of malware, I can't be tracked, I don't get personalized ads and I see how many cookies web sites are polluting our computers with.

It's quite amazing, just by going on ATS on a freshly formatted computer, I usually have to deny 30~ cookies just on the first page!

You do have to be careful and not block cookies from site you will log-in and such, if you block those, you won't be able to log-in till you reset that particular cookie.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Thanks for sharing. I started to do ghostery and it came back with a warning that the author was not verified....what do I do when I see that?



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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soulpowertothendegree
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Thanks for sharing. I started to do ghostery and it came back with a warning that the author was not verified....what do I do when I see that?


Then I tried the noscript and firefox warns you not to download from that author...of well batting 1000 so far.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:53 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by verschickter
 



Redirect Remover

I skipped over that addon because it doesn't appear to work with the latest version of Firefox and it breaks a lot of links.


reply to post by sageturkey
 



Lightbeam

I didn't include that in the list because it wont do anything when you have Ghostery and NoScript installed.


reply to post by soulpowertothendegree
 



Thanks for sharing. I started to do ghostery and it came back with a warning that the author was not verified....what do I do when I see that?

It always says something about not downloading addons from authors that you don't trust. If it's on the official Firefox addon website then it has been reviewed by Mozilla and you can trust the author. The only addons in my list which are not on the official Firefox addon website are HTTPS Everywhere and HTTPS Finder, but HTTPS Everywhere is made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and many people use it, so it's definitely trustworthy.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Bookmarking as I just installed Ubuntu and plan to use Firefox.

Good Fun.



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


I wanted to note that there are some external applications that will perform some of the same functions as these add-ons and apply to any browser you are using.

Web of Trust - Avast Anti-virus has the same ranking ability. (free anti-virus program)

Browser Protect - Spybot S&D (free anti-spyware program) will also protect browser settings as well as other windows settings such as start up commands and re-directions added to .hosts file. It can also scan and clear out tracking cookies as well as the LSO's.

Newer versions of firefox also allow you to disable tracking cookies as part of it's own functionality. This is not to say that those add-ons are inferior either. I have found, however, that sometimes add-ons can increase the amount of system resources needed to run a browser and sometimes aren't updated with newer versions of firefox.

I think that the ad-block-plus add-on will also perform a similar action as the NoScript and Ghostery add-ons.






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