Three important security and privacy add-ons for Mozilla Firefox browser

If this was written for a IT news website you would say it was for SEO purposes. But I am privacy-loving person and abstain from hurting others privacy. Just security and privacy are being concerned here. Please read on.

(this article has been loosely translated into Turkish at berkinbozdogan.com)

My aim is to leave a message to internet about what I do for securing my privacy for all puns and indentations, which are obviously absent as I am not French.  Too much pun, anyways. I am not going to write long article for SEO purposes, I’ll cut it short: Give the names of add-ons, provide you with links, and tell what they do, how they do, and what is gained, or speaking of annoyances what is lost, in the process.

0 – Turn away from Google Chrome

Unless you are a web developer that has to test on Chromium-based renderers, give up using Google Chrome. It is the malware with the widest user base. It is a tracker, a data collector. Period. Even if you develop for Google Chrome use it in a completely sandboxed environment, like a VM instance. Burn it, use gloves, and wear a hazmat suit paired with a gas mask.

You may use Mozilla Firefox, Brave, anything not owned by anyone, preferably something free (as in freedom of speech).

1 – Ublock Origin

Blocking ads are no longer preventing tiny annoyances and cutting the publishers off their bread; it is more of a privacy preservation act. They track, label, target you all the time. Most of them begin with Google and Facebook then keep on sticking to your browser with tiny tangles like Like/Share buttons. web site owners see them as tiny features to make visitors talk about stuff, but in the end they are means of tracking you. Do not forget that every ad is also a tracker, a privacy abuse, collecting data for a future, more targeted abuse.

Sorry website owners; please earn money by other means. You’ll also get abused by useless mediators by commission rates and “patronage dividends”. It is not the way. It should not be.

Ublock Origin is the best and user-friendly ad/tracker/privacy abuser blocker out there. No heinous plans underneath, no hidden whitelists… Install it here.

2 – Privacy Badger

Ublock Origin is the first step in the direction of online privacy but you will need another foot to stand in balance. Second foot is obviously Privacy Badger, developed by EFF. Privacy Badger is another add-on for blocking stuff. It is made to work with Ublock Origin. It shows the remaining sources which are loaded in the web site sourced from other web sites, like cookies, javascripts, fonts… Whatever comes into your mind that are not blocked by Ublock Origin. Some of them are blocked out of the box like YouTube and Facebook buttons, Yelp comment features and replaces them with local images and tell you about it. Also you can choose to block web fonts which are mostly provided by Google and associated web Javascript libraries/APIs.

For each resource loaded outside of the website you visit you have the option to allow, block the cookie, or block the content entirely. Choices are remembered.

Where as Ublock Origin cleans, Privacy Badger sweeps. Install it here.

3 – HTTPS Everywhere

Regarding privacy, all data on the Internet should be encrypted. Even if there is a bliss named Let’s Encrypt people love to provide plain HTTP access to their website due to lethargic reasons or dim-witted money-grabber hosting providers. Anyways, as I always say, it is one fifth of the 21st Century past now, there is no place for unencrypted internet traffic. If it is not People’s Surveillance State of China or Islamic HTTPS-Banning Something of Iran where you live.

HTTPS Everywhere does what it says: If a website has secure version, you connect there whatever you type in the address bar. And better than that, there is the EASE (Encrypt All Sites Eligible) mode, an über security policy of blocking everything unencrypted (read injectable/abusable/trackable).

Let sniffers, injections-lovers go their own way. Install it here.

 

These add-ons for Mozilla Firefox are the basic tools you can use to stay safe and have some privacy online. Keep in mind that there is no overkill for security and privacy, just levels of unbridled obsession followed by usability sacrifice which is of course in the core of all usability scenarios in every aspect of life.

Until next time, stay safe.

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