Friday, January 14, 2011

Net privacy add-ons

If you use Firefox, there are two privacy/security add-ons that I would recommend, with the natural proviso that I am no techie:

NoScript blocks all executable content (like Java and JavaScript) and allows you, click-by-click, to activate only what you want on each page you visit. Naturally, this will slow down your web-surfing experience, and you will have to be extra careful about activating the right scripts when you fill out online forms, but it is worth the added security—you might be surprised just how much surreptitious executable content exists in most web pages. The developer, by the way, updates this add-on like crazy.

BetterPrivacy
finds and deletes local shared objects placed on your computer by Flash (i.e. flash cookies). These are not deleted by Firefox even with the maximum privacy setting activated, and they appear to be able to track everything a normal cookie can. BetterPrivacy takes a few seconds to get rid of them every time you close Firefox. Again, you have to be careful with these if you like to store things like passwords or Flash game information, but it's worth the gain in privacy.

1 comment:

Steelman said...

I use both of these add-ons (along with Adblock Plus, for the trifecta of online security and annoyance avoidance), and also recommend them highly.

NoScript saved me, just last night, when I absentmindedly clicked on a link to some "pictures" from someone selling something online. Nothing loaded and I had a chance to take a second look at the URL, which turns out was suspicious. Computer saves dumb human, again.

I welcome the arrival of our robot overlords, hoping for similar benevolence (and knowing there's nothing to be done if the opposite is manifested in angry, clanking destruction).