5 Firefox Add-Ons That Increase Online Security

We have shown in past articles like Gmail login or Facebook login how to handle security and login problems on those sites.

This article takes a closer look at  some general options that Firefox users have to increase their online security. We have already reviewed two Firefox add-ons in the past, the Last Pass password manager that can generate and remember secure passwords, and the Web of Trust extension that scans links and warns the user if websites are not to be trusted or outright malicious.

NoScript is probably the best all-in-one security add-on for the Firefox web browser. The add-on blocks all scripts on all websites by default. Scripts, like JavaScript code for instance, are source of the majority of malicious attacks on the Internet.

The add-on ensures that the scripts cannot be executed. It is possible to activate scripts temporarily or permanently. Enabling some scripts permanently can be beneficial on trusted websites that require scripts to function properly.

noscript
noscript

It is for instance not possible to use Gmail without JavaScript enabled. NoScript protects from additional threats like cross-site scripting attacks (XSS) and Clickjacking attempts as well.

Twitter has pushed the popularity of url-shortening services. They are a necessity because of the 140 character limit on the messaging network. The problem with shortened urls is that the user does not know where they lead to until the link is clicked.

Try it out for yourself, any guess where http://bit.ly/dk9s1K is going to take you?

tiny urls
tiny urls

Long URL Please is a service that displays the destination of short urls directly on the page they have been posted on. This way users can directly see where the link leads to which enables them to avoid misleading and suspicious links.

Bug Me Not is a helpful add-on that provides anonymous logins for hundreds of websites. Several websites and services ask the user to register an account before they provide unrestricted access to their contents.

Creating accounts on websites is always a risk especially if the same username and passwords are used on multiple sites. Bug Me Not can be used to access services from sites like the New York Times, Washington Post or Chicago Tribune without registering an account first.

Another risk that Internet users face is caused by local caches of data. Web browsers record the browsing history, passwords, cookies and many other data that could be used to invade the privacy of the user or to access services on the Internet.

Click And Clean can be used to delete all the temporary data that is collected in every browsing session.

clean firefox
clean firefox

The add-on can be configured to automatically clear the browsing data when the browser closes.

Block Site is the last add-on of this guide. The add-on blocks access to websites so that they can no longer be visited in Firefox. It will also render links to those websites inoperable so that they cannot be clicked anymore.

This is helpful to block obtrusive sites. Another use is to protect children or other family members who use the same computer.

Firefox offers hundreds of security add-ons alone. Check out the Privacy and Security listing over at the official Mozilla Firefox website for additional add-ons.

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