Security and privacy are constant concerns these days as we and our children are browsing the Internet. There are antivirus protection and other software tools that help to keep us safe from major threats.
But, sometimes we just want to protect our privacy from simple tracking, cookies, or Web requests. These 10 extensions for Firefox are just that – simple tools that can help with keeping your privacy private.
Please Stop Tracking Me
Many Google users are not fond of being tracked. They want the sites they visit to be their own business and do not want their clicks recorded. There are two great extensions for Firefox to help with this privacy issue. In addition, these both make copying the original, direct links to sites you want to visit easier by eliminating the Google redirect URL.
Google Redirects Fixer & Tracking Remover only works on Google, but also covers you on Google News, Google Blogs, Google Images, and Google Videos. Both extensions work perfectly and do not require a restart of your browser. So, it will probably come down to which you use more; the Google sites or Google plus Yahoo and Yandex.
No, I Don’t Want To Try Your Cookies
We have heard plenty about cookies over the years and how websites use them. Basically a cookie is a piece of data sent from a site and stored on your browser while you are using that website. These are commonly used with shopping sites or those that you log into.
Data is also sent back to the website the next time you visit. Cookies have become a concern for many people as they can track your activity and have become a security issue for certain types such as authentication cookies.
For more control over your cookies, there are two Firefox extensions you might like; CookieKiller and BetterPrivacy. CookieKiller has very simple settings and allows you to permanently block cookies you have removed. Using an icon in your Add-On Bar, you can open the Firefox Cookie Manager, enable Cookie Block, or just open your preferences.
BetterPrivacy goes a bit further with a concentration on Flash Cookies. With a click you can remove all of the “Super Cookies” or just choose from the list in your preferences. You can also set BetterPrivacy to delete Flash cookies on startup, using a timer, or be notified when a new Flash cookie is stored.
I Am Cleaning House When I Leave
Some people prefer to take care of their cookies along with their browsing history, file download history, and temporary Internet Files. There are a couple of extensions for Firefox that can delete and remove these items each time you close your browser, which makes them quite convenient.
Click&Clean and Clear Console are two extensions that work well. Click&Clean not only clears your items when you exit Firefox, but also allows you to perform a cleanup while you are browsing. The settings are simple; just choose what you want removed and when.
Clear Console works much the same way as Click&Clean. This extension places an icon on your toolbar so that you can delete your items easily. Cookies, history, cache, and HTTP logins can all be cleared with a click. You can also set up Clear Console to prompt you before closing your browser or clear all items without the prompt.
I Will Decide What You Can Request
Web requests sent from sites that you visit are another concern when it comes to privacy and security. Some sites will make these requests from your browser to a totally different site than the one you are visiting. This is common for advertisers to target you by reviewing your browsing habits and which sites you visit. Two Firefox extensions can put you in control of these types of Web requests.
Policeman allows you to set up your own rules and easily manage those rule sets. You can also create custom rules if you know exactly what you want.
RequestPolicy is another extension that helps prevent cross-site scripts and the strictness can be based on domain. RequestPolicy also offers a whitelist section for those you would like to allow and the initial setup tool lets you to pick your whitelist sites upfront. Both Policeman and RequestPolicy also offer import and export features for convenience.
Quit Following Me, I Know Who You Are
There is one particular tool that is reliable when it comes to discovering tracking elements. Ghostery is an extension that looks for those elements on the websites you are visiting. These can include everything from pixel-trackers for analytics to social media network widgets.
When you are visiting a particular page, you will see the Ghostery icon in your toolbar displaying a count. This is your notification of the tracking elements on that page. You can then decide yourself which of those trackers to allow by flipping the switch next to each one.
You can select the drop-down beside each element for further details and you can also quickly add the site to your whitelist if you trust it. Ghostery is very easy to use and a terrific extension for detecting those trackers.
What Type of Link Is That?
One final tool to assist in keeping you safe on Firefox is Link Alert. This is a very simple extension that displays an icon of the type of link existing on the page when you mouse over it. This can protect unknowing users, for example your kids, from clicking links that they should not.
Just let them know the types of links they can click and those they cannot by viewing the icon. Then whenever you put your mouse over the link, you will see the icon displayed clearly. This is a basic extension with a good visual concept for those who may not realize clicking on files and applications can be dangerous as well as knowing whether a site is secure or not.
How Private do You Keep Your Browsing?
Do you use any of these Firefox tools or do you have others that work better for protecting your privacy? What are your biggest concerns on the topic; tracking, Web requests, cookies?
If you have tools you would like to share for other browsers as well, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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