“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.”
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.
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:
<target host=”www.google.com” />
<target host=”google.com” />
<rule from=”^http://(www\.)?google\.com/” to=”https://google.com/”/>
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.
In 2007, when Prism was launched, there were some enthusiastic reviews about this application. Then the widget era began and Prism popularity decreased. Anyway, Prism is still a powerful application for all that people who desire to run their more often used web application saving RAM and CPU resources. Prism, based on XULRunner, is multi platform, easy to use and very flexible. To use it on Ubuntu you can launch the Terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install prism
or using the Synaptics Package Manager (System —> Administration —> Synaptics Package Manager). Then go to Applications —> Internet —> Prism and a small windows appears. Now, fill in all the required information: the web application URL, the name you prefer, settings and do not forget to click on the Desktop shortcut option. At this point you will find a new rough icon on your Desktop with the name you chose. The first time you use it, with the right mouse button click on it and go to Properties —> Permissions and Allow executing file as program. If you want to change the icon you have to click on it (with the right mouse button), go to Properties —> Basic and choose your favorite icon clicking the icon on the upper left corner. If all are steps are annoying for you, it is possible to use Prism as add-on for Firefox. In this case, on Firefox, go to Tools —> Add-ons —> Get Add-ons and type Prism on the search bar. You will install Prism as a simple add-on for Firefox. Now, you can automatically generate a Prism application just clicking on Tools —> Convert Website to Application when you are in the web application page.
On Windows or MAC we suggest to download the standalone package directly from the official web page or install Prism as Firefox add-on following the same steps we described for Ubuntu. If you use the Prism standalone package you have to decompress it in your favorite location. For Windows users: when you set up a new Prism application, try the tray menu option but do not forget to click on the Desktop shortcut or you will not be able to find again the application after you close it.
This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish), we posted a brief review about Foxmarks, a simple but effective add-on for Firefox which can seriously help you to manage, save and restore your bookmarks. In the past, we wrote some reviews about Online Bookmark Manager, Febe and Cleo but, at the moment, we truly believe that Foxmarks is the most flexible between all of them. It is cross-platform (or multiplatform if you prefer), easy to use and very intuitive thanks to its interactive wizards. Foxmarks can be used to simply sharing your bookmarks with your friends or as a professional tool to sync profiles via web between all your PCs. Last but not least, I would like to focus your attenyion on mobile.foxmarks.com which allows you to access bookmarks on all your web-enabled devices. Recommended!
Today, in our Freeware Page (traditionally in English) we have added an effective post (in Spanish) about FEBE and CLEO: two fantastic Firefox extensions which allow you to backup all your personal Firefox settings. FEBE is a multiplatform add-on (Linux, Windows, and OS X) easy to install and to manage. In fact, the “FEBE Options” is a complete menu where it is possible to choose: what to save, where (destination folders) and frequency of the backups. Personally, I do suggest to change the default options and not to backup your usernames, passwords and cookies using FEBE. In fact, the backup file, a .xpi, could be stolen and easily reinstalled on a third part computer. Last but not least I want to underline the key role of CLEO which allows FEBE to create the installable .xpi file with all your settings. Recommended!