Tag Archives | privacy

Easier Way to Clear Your Search Box

Auto-clear Firefox's Search Box

Want to hide what it is you have been looking for?  Not the perfect solution, but perfect for nit-picky peeps is the Clear Search add-on for Firefox.

What does this browser extension do?  It does one job, and it does it really well.  Once installed, it automatically clears the search bar after performing a search. So if you have a nosey roommate or family member, they won’t accidently see you have been searching for the top 10 horror villains of all time.

While this add-on for the browser isn’t enough to prevent somebody who is really nosey from going through your history, and doing a full scale investigation – it does serve the simple task or clearing out your search box after a search very well.  You can pick up the Clear Search extension on the Firefox add-ons web site.

Hide Bookmarks from the Awesome Bar

Hide from the Awesome Bar!

The Awesome Bar (or address bar, as those “normal” browsers might call it) does a great job at matching a web site saved in your bookmarks or history when you start typing in the Awesome Bar.  By default, Firefox doesn’t give you a way of saying, “Don’t show these bookmarks there” so now somebody has written up an add-on to give you that ability. 

The NotAwesome add-on for Firefox will help you hide any bookmarks tagged with “notawesome” from awesome bar searches.  This way you can totally flag bookmarks you don’t want showing up in the Awesome Bar results.

You can pick up this great add-on via the Firefox Add-ons web site.  (credit for this find goes to Lifehacker, when in turn goes to gHacks too!)

Microsoft to Share Firefox Facts?

So that you end your week with something really amusing, I had to share this story I found at CyberNet as it concerns Microsoft’s new browser comparison or “fact” sheet.

Microsoft Facts about IE8

So we are to believe that Firefox and Chrome are both insecure, difficult to use, and unreliable?  The Internet Explorer team might want to check their calendars, because last time I checked – it is June 26th, not April 1st

If that isn’t enough – they also have a MythBusting page.  What is your favorite “fact” they are claiming?

10 Ways Firefox Makes the Web a Safer Place

We all like tools that help us feel a little safer, right?  Firefox has a slew of tools you can use to add extra security to the platform.  One thing I really like about this is each person can decide how much more added security he or she needs.  How do you know which of the add-ons are the best?

Here are some of the most popular plugins that help with increasing the privacy or security for your Firefox installation.

NoScript

The best security you can get in a web browser! Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.

WOT

WOT, Web of Trust, warns you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam. Protect your computer against online threats by using WOT as your front-line layer of protection when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory.

Stealther

Do you like to pretend that you are a super secret spy when browing the Web? Maybe you just don’t want that nosy brother or sister looking in on what you have been doing. No matter the situation, if you want to stay secret – the Stealther Firefox extension is for you.

FoxyProxy

FoxyProxy is an advanced proxy management tool that completely replaces Firefox’s limited proxying capabilities. It offers more features than SwitchProxy, ProxyButton, QuickProxy, xyzproxy, ProxyTex, TorButton, etc.

Fire Encrypter

Want Firefox to help you encrypt your secret files and documents? Maybe you just want to learn more about the encryption process? No matter which camp you fall into, the Fire Encrypter Firefox extension is for you. It brings the top secret world of encryption right into your favorite little browser.

Sxipper

Forget your passwords! Sxipper accurately fills in forms, manages passwords and your OpenIDs.

CookieCuller

Want more control over your cookies? No, I’m not talking about the ones your grandmother loves to shove down your throat – I am talking about the ones that involve your browser. The Firefox extension CookieCuller gives you total control over which cookies stay on your computer by letting you protect cookies of your choice while automatically deleting the rest.

Flashblock

Flashblock is an extension for the Mozilla, Firefox, and Netscape browsers that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content.

TrackMeNot

With all this talk about your privacy being attacked and people snooping on what you have been searching about, you are bound to feel a little paranoid. You might be watching over your shoulder as you type. You might be turning the lights out before you get Online. How can you protect yourself from being tracked in your searches though? If you use Firefox, you need the TrackMeNot extension.

BugMeNot

Tired of web sites asking you to register to view the content inside?  Bypass compulsory web registration with the context menu via bugmenot.com.

Know of another Firefox security add-on that is well worth using, just not that popular yet?  Do any of these add-ons make you sleep a little easier at night?  Let me know what you think the best security add-on for Firefox is.

How to Clear Private Data in Firefox

Clear Private DataWorried somebody is going to snoop around on what you are doing from within Firefox?  Have no fear!  Although private browsing hasn’t made its way to Firefox yet, you can still clear your private data in Firefox very easily.

What is Firefox Saving About Me?

Now the first question you may have is what type of content is saved by Firefox?

  • Browsing History: contains a log web locations you have previously visited.
  • Download History: keeps a list of files you’ve downloaded.
  • Saved Form and Search History: contains a list of phrases you have entered in text fields, such as web searches, and name and address fields.
  • Cache: stores temporary files, such as web pages and other online media, that you have downloaded from the Internet.
  • Cookies: stores files created by web sites, that store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting that site. (When a web site has a “remember this” check box, they are using a cookie.)
  • Offline Website Data: information web sites have stored on your computer for use without an internet connection.
  • Saved Passwords: contains a list of user names and passwords you have opted to have Firefox remember.
  • Authenticated Sessions: keeps you logged into secure web sites, you have already used the password manager to log in to.

Firefox makes it very simple to clear a few or all of these settings.  From the top of Firefox, in the menu bar – select Tools > Clear Private Data.  (You can also pull this up by using the keyboard combination Ctrl + Shift + Del )  Check mark the data you want to clear, then click on Clear Private Data Now, to clear the data; or click on Cancel, to close the Clear Private Data window, without clearing any private data.

How to Automate the Private Data Cleaning

I have my Firefox set to clear certain private data when I close Firefox.  To do this, go to Tools > Options and then click on the Privacy Tab.  From there, look at the settings listed under Private Data.  you have the option to:

  • Always clear my private data when I close Firefox
  • Ask me before clearing private data

Clicking on the “Settings” will allow you to choose what is cleared when you exit Firefox.

Password Hasher

Password HasherNeed help coming up with confusing and complicated passwords? There are a number of services out there that will help you in this department, but one of the best I have found is Password Hasher.

This Firefox extension delivers when it comes to delivering you a password I’d never be able to guess. Now why should you use strong password? Well the obvious reason would be to make sure your content does not get stolen.

Here are some of the features of this extension:

  • Automatically generates strong passwords.
  • One master key produces different passwords at many sites.
  • Quickly upgrade passwords by “bumping” the site tag.
  • Upgrade a master key without updating all sites at once.
  • Supports different length passwords.

For more information be sure to check out their official web site. We all want to be more safe, and a good password is an easy way to start.

Hide Surfing Trails with Distrust

Distrust for FirefoxFeeling a little paranoid these days?

If people are peeking over your shoulder or watching what you are doing you might need a little help to feel like you are staying secure. I have a Firefox extension in my vanilla colored top secret folder that I am ready to pass under the proverbial desk right to you.

So what is the Distrust extension for Firefox all about?

Distrust is a Firefox extension that came to fill the need to privacy on your computer. Distrust aims to create a silent browsing experience which means that the browser should leave the computer as it was when browsing began.

If keeping things secret is the name of the game, this extension will help you keep things private. Other features include:

  • Disable the cache. (Both regular and SSL)
  • Set the cookies to live until the end of the session.
  • Clean up the history from item that were added after it was activated.
  • Clean up the downloaded items, from the download manager, that were added after it was activated.

Make Firefox Safe and Secure

Now I do come from the camp of folks that say that Firefox is mainly safe because it is not the tallest nail getting hit at this moment. Internet Explorer is harder hit on by those who wish to do you harm, so that is one reason why it is less safe than Firefox.

On the other hand though, Firefox is a “stupider” browser (no offense to my Mozilla friends) so it is harder for deviants out there to get it to do their evil deeds. No matter if you like Firefox or not, you have to admit there are a lot of great extensions out there that can make your browsing a lot safer. Nothing beats common sense, but having some of these extensions installed should be a good first line of defense.

+ Check Out All 9 Firefox Security Extensions!

Firefox Extension Quality Control

Should there be better quality control for Firefox extensions?

I’m always flipping through the Mozilla forum looking for interesting things to read when I came across one that was called “addons.mozilla.org recent and open issues.” It sounded interesting because I didn’t realize that there were any open issues with Mozilla’s Add-on site.

There are a handful of them there that look like they were made by some “make your toolbar, quick and easy” service. I don’t like this. Why? Well as I have explained before they have a disturbing section on the bottom of these special toolbars that say “we will not spy on you” and more. What does that mean? They probably do. Read more about this issue at CyberNet.

Proxy Surfing on Firefox

Now I am not afraid to mention that this whole proxy switching thing never made too much sense to me. Then again, I never feel the need to be sneaky or need to get around anywhere to get my browsing done. For those of you who do feel sneaky or need a work around to browse, I have found the perfect companion for your Firefox browser. FoxyProxy is the way to go.

+ Learn More About FoxyProxy!