Firefox add-ons

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Firefox is a popular free web browser program, which many Mac and PC users use as an alternative to the defaults e.g. Apple's Safari. Firefox can be customised in various ways, including the use of add-ons (also known as plug-ins). As Firefox is an open source product, anyone can contribute these. This page summarises some that have been used and recommended by authoritative commentators on security, or by CATUG members.


Security and privacy

In March 2010, an article in MacWorld (reprinted from CSO) recommended these to improve security and privacy. Some of these are free, some are shareware (suggested contribution US $10):

  1. NoScript which blocks and blacklists JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other plug-ins by default. Many websites rely on these plug-in technologies, so you have to whitelist sites for them to function. Using the NoScript status bar icon, you can whitelist on a temporary basis or add sites to your permanent whitelist. This preemptive script blocking tool is a must for any Firefox user.
  2. BetterPrivacy lets you manage flash cookies (see Wikipedia – these are an enhanced way of storing information about you and your online activities).
  3. Adblock Plus gives granular control over page elements such as ads/banners content in your browser experience. Although it does use a region-specific block list, you can configure filters with great flexibility, blocking or allowing content as you see fit.
  4. FoxyProxy, a feature-rich proxy management add-on.
  5. Firebug allows us to monitor, debug and edit the content of any website live in any webpage within the browser. It’s helpful in investigating websites that seem slightly fishy.

MacWorld readers added:

In 2012 Macworld added a recommendation for DoNotTrackPlus (DNT+) to block tracking cookies. It keeps an eye out for advertising companies and social networks looking to gather your personal information, and leaves you in control.

An alternative is Ghostery, which does a similar job to BetterPrivacy and DoNotTrackPlus.

CATUG Board member Jon Glass gave his priorities from the above in 2010:

Other useful add-ons

Jon Glass continues:

Marvin Robertson recommends:

Dan Stewart adds:

Chris Howard says, "These are all free. There are more that I use, but these I would recommend as they work well, are usually quick about catching up with updates and have functionality that I use regularly."

and his favorite:

See also

External links


Originally contributed on Mac-Ministry by Marvin Robertson, Jon Glass and Dan Stewart, March 15, 2010. Added more from Chris Howard, October 2011. Marvin also recommended DNT+ in February 2012, and Neville Reid added Ghostery.

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