Why Firefox

There are a number of browsers out there, but we push Firefox. Why you may ask, I’ll tell you in one word: Privacy

Firefox can be buggy sometimes, and I get at least one crash a day, but  it’s not something that would keep me away, and it shouldn’t you either.ff1

In the image to the right, you will see the Firefox privacy tab in the preferences. You will notice that  cookies, are turned off.

Cookies, are little packets of gold that can tell a company or web site where you were, where you go, and lots of other stuff. Want some privacy? Turn cookies off in Firefox. Now obviously, there will be a site or two that won’t load without cookies. These can be sites like Amazon, or your bank etc. To keep a list of what I’ll allow and what I won’t as far as cookies go, I use a nice Firefox extension called: Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster will give you a button in your browser to selectively allow cookies from sites that must use them for logins etc. As a privacy fanatic, if I follow a link to a news site, and it won’t load without setting a cookie, then I go find the story someplace else.

Another tool you should have installed on your browser is Disconnect which is a plug in that prevents all those stupid analytics companies from tracking you as you go from site to site. There is big money in advertisers knowing what you click on. I do not wish to be a part of that!

Somewhat privacy related is Adblock Plus, which will rid your browser window of all those stupid advertisements. It’s been found that some advertising on web sites may contain viruses and other harmful nasties.

Finally, the most important Firefox plug in you can install, is NoScript

NoScript Preferences

NoScript Preferences

NoScript will prevent web sites from running Java and Javascript software in your browser window. Why is this important? Because that is where most virus attacks directly from the web, come from! (And don’t think that just because you are running Linux, you are immune. You are not!)

Best practice, is to deny Javascript in all web sites, and then only allow it in sites you really trust!

(In all 7 of my sites, I do use Javascript, it’s hard not to, however all of my sites will display just fine without Javascript or cookies, as it should be!)

Many Javascript intensive web site will completely break if you don’t allow Javascript. For sites I trust, like Amazon, I’ll let them use it, for those unknown places on the web, that you might find clicking a link in a friends email message. Nope, you don’t want Javascript running for those!

Really care about safety and privacy? Then if a site won’t work at all without  Javascript or a cookie, Then think very hard about going to it. This is especially true of sites who’s business model seems to be tracking where you go and for how long, like google and facebook (2 sites that are blocked in our router!)