Beef Up Mozilla Firefox5 Privacy and Security with Add-ons

by admin on July 25, 2011

By Jacelyn Thomas

Despite the fact that Mozilla Firefox just recently released an updated version of its open source web browser in late March, the leading internet company has quickly released an even newer version of its successful web browser, Firefox5. The new, updated version promises to be faster and include more than 1,000 improvements–one of which is making the “do not track” option available in Firefox 4 more visible to consumers. This provision allows web surfers to block Web sites from tracking their online behavior for marketing purposes. While Firefox5 has improved its online privacy and security settings, that doesn’t mean there aren’t additional tactics consumers can take to safeguard their browsing experience and prevent against hacking techniques like clickjacking. Add-ons, which are extensions especially designed to increase Firefox’s performance, can in fact help improve online security. The best part? Most of them are free. To learn the top Firefox5 add-ons that can increase privacy and protection, continue reading below.

Web of Trust. This add-on is specifically designed to prevent users from browsing harmful web sites and clicking links that can distribute viruses and steal sensitive information. Using a ranking system of colors, a web site will flash red if the “community” of Web Trust users has labeled the site as threatening. As a member of the community, you are encouraged to label hazardous web sites if you ever come across them to warn future users as well. Cost: Free

Adblock Plus. As if pop-up advertisements weren’t irritating enough, these kinds of ads can actually cause “super cookies” to be installed on your computer and easily grant third parties access to your browsing history. Sometimes this information is used for harmless marketing purposes, other times for malicious activity. In either case, unlike traditional cookies (which are small files that are stored on your computer every time you visit a Web site) super cookies are extremely difficult to delete and/or reject. Thanks to this add-on however, users can control the amount of advertisements that appear on each Web site and even have the option to stop them all together in an effort to prevent super cookies from installing on their hard drive. Cost: Free

No Script. What makes browsing Web sites an exciting and interactive ordeal is unfortunately what can also make it a danger zone. JavaScript, which is a program language that allows users to play online games and look at cool graphics for example, is also the easiest ways for hackers to trick users into revealing sensitive information through CSRF attacks (router hacking), clickjacking, or cross-site scripting attacks (XSS) just to name a few. But because javascript is in fact used on authoritative sites, it wouldn’t be wise to deactivate the feature entirely. This is where NoScript comes into play: it allows users the option of controlling where JavaScript can be ran, such as on trusted site like an online banking website. Cost: Free

LastPass Password Manager. Lastly, the biggest mistake anyone can ever make is create the same password and log-in name for every single site that requires one. This is because if a third party figures out the one password, this means that they will have access to all of your information. That’s why creating multiple, complex, and unique passwords for every site you visit is recommended. But remembering all those passwords can be pretty difficult to do. Fortunately this add-on helps you keep track of your multiple passwords in a safe and encrypted area so that you, and only you, can retrieve the information with ease.

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