Tag Archives: add-ons

Introducing Firefox Send, Providing Free File Transfers while Keeping your Personal Information Private by https://ift.tt/2Hg2Ley

“At Mozilla, we are always committed to people’s security and privacy. It’s part of our long-standing Mozilla Manifesto. We are continually looking for new ways to fulfill that promise, whether it’s through the browser, apps or services.”

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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 

Pandora for “dummies”…. when you are outside the USA… – Firefox, Chrome and Opera add-on –

The last time I wrote a post about connecting to Pandora  when you are outside the USA was just (sic) three years ago. Meanwhile a lot of things changed and Anonymox, the Firefox add-on and proxy service I suggested in 2012, it is not free now.

It happens but when my nephew asked me something similar and really intuitive to connect to Pandora I was in trouble… more in trouble than I could imagine…. In fact when I started to search something alternative, I found a lot of very good proxy add-ons for Firefox. It was a pleasure to discover some of them because they are technically well done and offer a lot of flexible features for privacy purpose. But this is not the topic of my post… for today.

After many unlucky trials, where I tested different add-ons that were not able to guarantee a minimal rate of usable connection,  I found ProxMate .

ProxMate is an open-source, SSL proxy manager for real dummies. As Firefox add-on you can install it on your browser in just few clicks and then you practically don’t need to configure anything. The only requested thing after installation is to decide the websites and services you want to connect through ProxMate. The internet connection has a good speed rate and the music flows as silk through your Pandora account.

You can install ProxMate searching it through the add-on panel you find in Firefox or you can decide to directly open the link from the  ProxMate website. After the installation ( no restart required) you have to find the “shark fin” icon into your Firefox bar. If you don’t find it immediately, you have to manage your icons and manually personalize the bar.

Then, click on ProxMate “my button” icon and select: “Install New Packages”. You are redirect to the ProxMate website where you can select Pandora or others interesting websites (e.g. Netflix, iHeart Radio, etc..) with specific IP restriction policies. 

Now, you select your desired website/service and follow the instructions (click selection) that will appear on the screen to complete the installation.

Last but not least, don’t forget to click again on the ProxMate icon and enable the proxy service.

As usual, I recommend to NOT forget to disable  ProxMate (as every other proxy server) when you don’t need to use it.

Oops, I forgot to say that ProxMate is free of charge……. Enjoy it!!

——————

References:

https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/proxmate/?src=search

https://proxmate.me/

Watch your privacy! Upgrade your Firefox security with HTTPS Everywhere and HTTPS Finder!

As we already discussed many times in this blog, we know that web security is something very difficult to reach but we can always try to improve our security when surfing into the web.

First of all, use Firefox! Do it! In my opinion it’s slower than Chrome but very “transparent” and so you have less risks to unintentionally share information you want to keep private. In my experience, Firefox could be safer than Chrome if you use the right adds-on.

Then, install a particular add-on named HTTPS Everywhere.

This add-on (for Firefox and Chrome) will automatically connect your browser to the https version of many websites contained in its “Rule list”. The number of https connections in the HTTPS Everywhere’s list is sufficiently wide and you can always decide to manually add new https addresses (more info) as in the following example:

<ruleset name=”Google”>
<target host=”www.google.com” />
<target host=”google.com” />

<rule from=”^http://(www\.)?google\.com/” to=”https://google.com/”/&gt;
</ruleset>

If you prefer to save time and you don’t want to write some lines for every website you prefer to connect through https, you will install another add-on: HTTPS Finder. HTTPS Finder is perfectly interconnected with HTTPS Everywhere and it will try to reach every website you type into the address bar, using a https connection. If it finds a valid https website, it will ask you if you want to add a specific rule into HTTPS Everywhere rule list. At this point you have only to agree and the new rule will be stored in the list.

Simple, easy, useful! Bookmark this page!