Five Great Firefox Add-Ons You're Not Using... (But Should Be)

« Norton Antivirus vs McAfee AntiVirus 2012: Head-to-Head Comparison | Main | Should I Be Concerned about the Flame Worm? »


Five Great Firefox Add-Ons You're Not Using... (But Should Be)

Kevin R. Smith

Like anything, some Firefox Add-Ons are great, some are meh, and some are crap.

What we've got here, my friends, is a list of the top five Add-Ons we like most (and use.)

In one way or another, the ones we've chosen are all geared towards improving your online privacy, security, or both.  Sure, some of our favorites are popular and used by a lot of people; chances are though that even most security conscious uber geeks haven't heard of all of 'em we list.

Have a look at our list and feel free to throw your own $.02 in if there are ones you know of we missed.

Five Great Firefox Add-Ons

(At Least Some of Which You've Never Heard Of)
Add-On Name / Link About The Add-On

Perspectives Project

Perspectives Project

Is that secure site really who it says it is?
The SSL system is imperfect. At its core are the Certificate Authorities (CAs). The first problem: it's possible to perform a Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attack against a CA.

The second problem: the CAs, while historically among the most secure organizations online, are also not impervious to attacks. Crackers have breached the gates and gotten into CAs.

In either case, all bets are off. That site you think is secure is anything but. Once a CA is compromised, any communcations you have with a "secure" site can be intercepted and read like it's on the front page of Yahoo.

The Perspectives Project solution is a system of public network notaries to monitor the world's SSL certificates and help ensure the certificates are legit.

Running the Firefox Add-on is a cinch, and once you've used it even for a few minutes, you'll likely have the same, "Oh!" feeling like we did when we first started running it.



The ubiquitous social media icons you see on just about every site (including ours), are tracking what we do and where we go online. How can you keep their functionality and lose Big Brother?
To web geeks, it's no surprise that these little icons are tracking our every move online. What may be a surprise? It's very easy to keep their functionality and ditch their privacy-invading tracking with ShareMeNot.

Aside from how easy to use it is, the best part is that even if you forget to log out of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google/GMail, or Digg account (among others), ShareMeNot has still got your back.

In fact, that's when it works best. You can stay logged into your Facebook or GMail account and keep the great functionality of the "Like" and "+1" buttons as you surf but don't let 'em track where you're going online or what you're doing.



Scripts are everywhere. Some are good; some are evil.
Tip the scale in your favor.

NoScript creator Giorgio Maone and the folks who develop NoScript take a unique approach to scripts: don't trust any. Until you do.

On every site you visit, Javascript, Java, Flash, and others are all prevented from loading 'til you explicitly grant them permission to load on a given web site.

And, interestingly, not only do most sites still work even when scripts are disabled, but enabling necessary scripts on sites you trust is a piece of cake.

All-in-all it's a beautiful piece of work.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus

Get the content, kill the ads.
Advertising is one thing. Intrusive, annoying ads are another.

Adblock plus is a great answer to the problem.

Sure, there's overlap between what NoScript and Adblock can do, but Adblock is geared more towards stopping ads than NoScript.

Another interesting feature is it lets you "collapse" (i.e. hide) sections of a web page. Great for getting the content you want and avoiding the seemingly unavoidable in-your-face ads.

Using it is easy, too--just start with any of the 50+ existing lists. Then if and when you want to customize it, you can do that, too.



There are cookies, and there are evil LSO cookies. Luckily, dealing with them isn't as hard as it once was.
Local Shared Object (LSOs) are a special, particularly evil type of cookie. Known as "Super Cookies," they're Flash, and they get placed onto your system's central folder. Thus, they're much, much more permanent than regular browser based cookies. Super Cookies go where you go, and you can't see or delete them with a garden variety "delete cookies."

This is where BetterPrivacy comes in.

With it you can manually manage LSOs, or set it up to automatically delete 'em when anytime you close (or open) a browser. And you can keep the LSOs/Super Cookies where they belong... not on your system.


You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.