Tag Archives | privacy

Turn Off Session Restore

Disable Session Restore in Firefox

Due to privacy concerns, some Firefox users may wish to disable or turn off the session restore feature in Firefox. As an example, if your computer is used by multiple users, the browser could crash while you are checking your Gmail account.  Rather than restoring Firefox, you decide to go do something else.  When somebody else comes in to launch Firefox, the browser will be restored to your inbox (due to fact that is where it crashed).  If you want a little more browsing privacy, here is how you disable the session restore feature in the browser.

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Block Cookies from a Single Website

Cookie Blocking Not sure if you want a specific website gathering information about you via browser cookies?  In Firefox it is very easy to specify website by website which ones are blocked from serving you up any cookies via the browser.  I will let you know how to block cookies on a per site basis and see the websites that you have blocked cookie access from.

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Easier Access to Private Browsing

Here is a quick tip that is not that well known.  If you want to start private browsing in a hurry, and you don’t have time to dive through the menus to start it (Tools > Start Private Browsing) then just type about:privatebrowsing into your address bar.

are you really sure?

There you have it.  Once you have done so, it will ask you if you want to switch into Firefox’s private browsing mode.  You could also save about:privatebrowsing as a bookmark, so you have easy one click access to the private browsing mode, without adding any extra add-ons to Firefox.

Now here is my challenge to all of you out there, does anybody know a quick way to stop private browsing, and return your browser back to normal (other than the traditional menu method).  If you do, leave it in the comments!

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.