Category Archives: Firefox Extensions

Firefox 54: more multi-process content processes by https://is.gd/7xLhyI

firefox-multiple-content-processes

Mozilla plans to increase the number of content processes of Firefox’s multi-process architecture to four (from one) with the release of Firefox 54.

Some Firefox installations are still not eligible for Firefox’s multi-process architecture. This includes systems with accessibility tools or settings enabled. Multiple processes won’t be enabled for users with extensions either, regardless of whether those are legacy add-ons, or WebExtensions.

Mozilla ran its memory test again to determine the right number of content processes. An increase in the number of content processes for the browser always goes along with an increase in memory usage.

from https://is.gd/7xLhyI

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A small collection of Firefox add-ons you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy – Part 4

What about a “simple” antivirus or a firewall for Firefox? No, a specific antivirus doesn’t exist as add-on for Firefox but an effective firewall could be installed anyway: Bluhell Firewall. Bluhell  is a good firewall with specific features that allow you to better protect your privacy. In fact this add-on is able to firewall all nasty web resources. The big difference between Bluhell and others similar add-ons is that you cannot configure anything. It simply tries to do all the works for you filtering web traffic through seven different predefined rules. At the beginning I was skeptic about the fact I couldn’t personally configure the firewall but when I tested it I was delighted by the results. It is really effective and light so my navigation remains smooth and fast but with a better level of protection for my privacy.

uBlock  is similar to Bluhell Firewall and seems (as for my personal experience) to be a little more “slow” than its concurrent Bluhell Firewall but has the indisputable advantage that you can decide many of its functions. Moreover it is a more classic web filter and you can really decide what to block in a detailed way. uBlock seems to need less hardware consumption  than AdBlocker. About its efficiency I can say that this add-on is not bad and it appears to be really efficient (perhaps more than other more famous…).

Priv8  is a specific sandbox that independently manage one or more Tab. It was built to allow multiple GMail accounts in the same browser when Goole didn’t allow it yet. Now is still a good add-on if we want to visit some websites that we consider not safe. The barrier between the sandboxed tab and the other parts of the browser is not impassable but it is not bad for some common risks. This because the attack will remain finite to that specific Tab preventing an instant reading of cookies and other sensible information you are managing (and, sic!…, temporary saving) in the other Tabs.

Don’t forget that at the end of your navigation it is useful to clean all the temporary files and the Flash LSO (local Shared Objects) stored by your browser.

If you decided to not protect yourself by Flash or if you needed to use it anyway it’s better to wipe common cookies and risky LSO and cookies.

To solve the LSO problem you have a couple of good choices. The first is Eraser , a specific add-on that clean your system everytime you want. It is simple to use and very fast so, for beginners, could improve privacy without headaches.

But if you want a better LSO protection Click&Clean  is what you are looking for. This add-on is really configurable and it allows to automatically run also external Shell Commands and/or applications as Bleach Bit and Computer Janitor. In few words it is effective, fast and user-friendly (highly recommended…).

For more general purposes, AskForSanitize  is another useful tool you may prefer if you want to select what to clean when Firefox is closing down. Usually I prefer to select all the possible options and I am not very interested to “save” anything of my navigation but the fact that a window appears after I close Firefox is a good reminder that my browser is really doing what I want. It could appear silly but the AskForSanitize window reassure me…  

If you want to add a little bit of more security I suggest to install Secure Sanitizer. This add-on has more or less the same features of AskForSanitize but it does the same using (if you choose this particular option) a “US DoD 5220″ three steps wiping. The result is, as obvious, a more accurate cleaning and consequently a more difficult data restoring if you lose possession of your PC and third parties want to know more about your navigation.

To be continued! …with other tips about Firefox add-ons….

A small collection of Firefox add-ons you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy – Part 3

In the past two years the EFF – Electronic Frontier Foundation –  has released a couple of add-ons specifically created to improve your privacy when you are on Internet. Just for a quick information, EFF is a no-profit organization specialized in, but not only, the defense of  privacy and free expression in the contemporary “world of emerging technologies”.

The first interesting EFF add-on is HTTPS Everywhere  that forces websites to provide https webpages also when you (better: your browser) asked for a “common” HTTP connection to their servers. This happens automatically and you don’t usually notice any delay in your navigation speed. HTTPS Everywhere is a precious add-on because it improves the number of “secured” connections when you are on Internet and decreases the risks of information leaking during Internet navigation. Moreover, this add-on is available not only for Firefox but also for Chrome and Opera and, at the moment, could be considered as the most versatile and -simple to use- tool you have to increase the use of HTTPS navigation. HTTPS Everywhere could not be considered as a bullet-proof privacy guarantee but it really does what he promises. Last but not least, it seems that if you adhere to their anonymous data collection about usage, you can really help them to discover false HTTPS certification disseminated through the web and contribute to a safer Internet.

If you want a little bit of security and think that every website should allow to connect through HTTPS, you should try HTTP Nowhere  that blocks all the unencrypted web communications. As for what we described for Flash add-ons (Flash Control and Flash Block) the level of security depends on your choice. HTTP Nowhere is a more “radical” choice but, i any case, it can be widely configured to your needs. For example it allows you to create a whitelist of HTTP websites that will be never blocked. Moreover HTTP Nowhere can be configured to visit .onion websites through TOR.

In  any case don’t forget that HTTPS connections are only relatively more secure than HTTP ones. As someone commented, HTTPS effective privacy depends on Certificate Authorities reliability and seriousness and, in some cases, HTTPS could be easily eluded. 

The other EFF add-on I’d like to focus your attention is the Privacy Badger . This add-on has the same goals of the most famous Ad Block or Disconnect but it works in a different way. In fact its work is not based of previously compiled list the needs to be updated frequently but on an heuristic examination of trackers behaviour. It could be considered “democratic” because it doesn’t automatically ban trackers at all but analyzes if they are looking for your web habits or they are “just” recording your passage in a specific website. In this last case the Privacy Badger will observe their behaviour during your next navigation and, if they persist to track you, it will label them with different colours (green to yellow to red) blocking them when they become too intrusive for your privacy. The PRO is that also a brand new tracker -never reviewed by security advisers- will be promptly discovered and neutralized but the CONS is represented by the fact that also the most known intrusive tracker will be initially allowed to register your habits.

For its intrinsic features, the Privacy Badger could be added to Firefox as an extra barrier to fight trackers and improve your privacy. In the next post we will examine other add-ons that can be matched with it.

A small collection of Firefox add-ons you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy – Part 2

I already described the privacy concerns related to Flash files in the my last post about Firefox add-ons and privacy. Today I want to talk about some interesting Firefox add-ons that could be helpful to reduce privacy risks during Internet navigation.

The first add-on is Flash Control  that “controls as and when to display the Flash player and the HTML5 player”. Another similar add-on is Flashblock  that does not allow Flash player to send information about your computer until you will decide to allow it. Personally I prefer Flash Control that is very intuitive and you decide when and what to watch just clicking on the Flash icon in the middle of the player. 

But, if you are a purist and you want to be able to control not only Flash player but also Javascript, SilverLight, images and proxies, QuickJava is what you are looking for. QuickJava is intuitive, easy to control and really effective.

In fact, you must not  underestimate Javascripts that are dangerous too if you think that they are equally able to remotely discover many information about your Ip, User-Agent, Architecture, OS Language, System Time, Screen Resolution. Statistically, when you have all these details, you have semi-unique fingerprints of the computer… and so someone could be also able to  know who are you. For this reason an add-on as Disable WebRTC is recommended because it blocks JavaScripts to access your local IP(s), without any user prompt.

References:

https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/support-flash-control/2479

http://flashblock.mozdev.org/ 

http://quickjavaplugin.blogspot.com/ 

https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/happy-bonobo-disable-webrtc/?src=api 

A small collection of Firefox add-ons that you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy

When I read news and reports about modern spyware I am a little bit discouraged about  my privacy. But I also think that something can always be done to improve privacy levels.

This time I don’t want to talk about password strength but I will try to focus your attention on some Firefox add-ons can could positively impact on your privacy.

The first is about Random Agent Spoofer that is able to obfuscate your computer configuration (better: identity) when you connect to a remote server = Internet.

This add-on is really flexible and you will spend just a couple of minutes to decide what  configuration can be useful for you. In particular you can decide how often you desire to change your agent profile and if you prefer to use just desktop agents or to appear as if you were connected through a mobile device. 

Moreover, you can choose if you want to:

  • Send spoofed ‘If-None_Match’ headers (ETags)
  • Send spoofed ‘X-Forwarded-For’ headers                         
  • Send spoofed ‘Via’ headers                                                                     
  • Accept headers match the selected browser profile
  • Spoof accepted documents
  • Spoof accepted encoding
  • Spoof accepted language (US English)

And if you have time you can also play with the many extras as:

  • Use standard font set
  • Disable local dom storage
  • Limit tab history to 2
  • Disable browsing and download history
  • Disable browser cache
  • Disable geolocation
  • Disable link prefetching 
  • Disable dns prefetching
  • Disable webgl

If you prefer a less complex agent spoofer or you are planning to use it seldom, you can use User-Agent Switcher that contains fewer features and needs to be manually configured but it’s intuitive and equally effective.

The second add-on I suggest to install is TrackMeNot that will help to defend your privacy contrasting web search engines profilation with a (huge,-if you want-) number of false queries from your browser. The (huge) number of queries about general topics will obfuscate search engines’ profile about your personal preference. Also in this case this add-on allows you to decide what kind of false queries you want to submit and how often TrackMeNot will “search” the web.

The third recommended add-on is ZenMate, a free VPN service that has obtained positive reviews by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also because ZenMate is “based in Berlin and operates under strict German data protection laws”. ZenMate is free, easy to use and let you choose between four different exit node also if using the free base version:

– Germany 

– Romania

– Hong Kong

– USA

Last but not least, keep attention on Flash Files. Do they are so essential for you? You have to keep in mind that sometimes, also if you use a VPN as Zen Zone, you can be betrayed by Flash files. In fact, videos based on Flash can potentially leak your identity also if you try to hide your IP behind a VPN or a proxy.

Link

Firefox’s tracking cookie blacklist reduces website load time by 44%

YouTube changed its website parameters and DownloadHelper immediately released an updated, on the fly, version

Sunday night the (on the fly) updated version of DownloadHelper was released. After just few days of malfunctioning all the features offered by this add-on for Firefox are back again.

In particular it is  possible to download again all the videos to have a local copy to watch when we are not able to use the internet.

The team of DdownloadHelper was professional and fast to solve this annoying problem which was caused by changes operated by YouTube on its website. For all the people who has not already used this add-on before, I remind you that DownloadHelper is, in my opinion, the most advanced tool to navigate YouTube videos, download contents for evaluation and directly convert the format from flv to mp4 or other video format you prefer.

For the record, this problem caused the same malfunctioning to all the software with similar features. In particular, you could have problems when using Gmediafinder for Linux (at least we have had this kind of matter during the past weekend). AddThis