Friday, July 22, 2011

Firefox extension world: Secure your web

Firefox isn't perfect. The default installation of Firefox is giving you just half the picture. However with the proper add-ons, you can make Firefox integrate more tightly with your life, boost online security, and do lots more.
You can browse the entire collection of Firefox add-ons at their centralized registry. There are add-ons for things you didn’t even know you needed but once you start using them you just can't live without them.
The add-ons detailed in this post offer a basic layer of security to your day to day browsing.

The web is full of intolerable ads these days. You can hardly move your mouse across a page without ads suggesting you buy the latest range of Puma shoes, or warning you about imminent doom if you don't perform a full system scan NOW. Adblock Plus prevents banner and margin ads as well as popup windows in Firefox from interfering with your browsing experience. It offers a free subscription to pre-built filters and also allows you to whitelist sites and enable blockable items where you don’t mind them. Saves page load time as well as bandwidth. Adblock Plus is the first add-on I install every time I install a new version of FF. Must have.

NoScript claims to be the best security you can get in a web browser. It prevents active content from running in your browser and protects you against XSS and Clickjacking attacks. It also restricts browser plugins from loading on untrusted sites preventing exploitation of security vulnerabilities due to insecure and unpatched plugins. Initially NoScript may conflict with your day to day browsing as it blocks scripts from all sites and the developer doesn’t maintain any whitelist to allow trusted sites. In order to overcome this in the least troublesome way, you can make use of my clixperience and use this readymade whitelist file.

Go to NoScript “Options
Under the “Whitelist” tab click “Import
Select and open the saved file and you’re done.

McAfee SiteAdvisor

Free add-on that provides simple website safety ratings so you can surf, search and shop safely in your web browser. Safe sites are marked by a green icon while the icon changes to yellow or red on suspicious and risky sites.

Beef Taco

Most content on the internet is free to consumers because of effective Internet advertising. Advertising technologies involve installing tracking cookies in your browser in order to track all your online activities so as to show ads targeted specifically towards you. Firefox allows you to tell websites that you do not want to be tracked. You can also opt out of Behavioral Advertising with the NAI Opt-out Tool. However you “opt out” preferences will be lost once you clear your browsing history. Beef Taco allows you to set permanent opt-out cookies to stop behavioral advertising.

Note: A web browser with NoScript installed warns every HTTP server it contacts that its user does not want to be tracked, i.e. that his data must not be collected for profiling and persistent identification purposes -

As NoScript forbids scripts from all websites by default, advertising services like,, etc. are automatically prevented from tracking you around the web.

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