Secure your browsing with Firefox

If you haven’t read the previous post of this series, I suggest you do. If you have done that, or you are already a Firefox fan, then read on to know more on securing your browsing on firefox.

One of the major aspects of firefox is its extensibility, which is possible by the use of addons. Addons are either themes, plugins, or extensions. While themes enhance the appearance of the browser, plugins enable viewing of certain types of content from within the browser, such as flash and videos. However, extensions improve the functionality of the browser. Choosing the right extensions can effectively improve your online browsing experience.

The top five must have firefox extensions:

1. NoScript

NoScript is the best security extension that firefox has got till date. It works by blocking all scripts from ‘unknown’ websites. Once the page is loaded, you can allow or permanently block scripts on that website. You can also allow scripts to run temporarily for the current firefox session. This extension also blocks Java applets, flash and silverlight objects on the page. With a wide range of options to configure from, this is a must-have extension for all firefox users.

2. Adblock Plus

As the name suggests, this versatile extension blocks all the annoying ads on the webpages. All kinds of ads such as textlinks, banners, rotating images and video ads are blocked. You can also add a subscription list which is updated with all new ad loaders. Thus, once installed, Adbock Plus saves you the distractions arising from the adverts.

*This extension must be taken with a pinch of salt. Though it sounds all pretty and nice, you may lose out on good deals, and links to better websites. I suggest using it selectively for different websites.

3. DownThemAll!

The ultimate download helper extension for firefox. It is the best because, it does all the work of a commercial download manager program and the best part is that it works from within firefox. It splits the files upto 10 chunks and downloads them simultaneously thereby increasing download speeds.

*Did I mention that it works for rapidshare.com links as well? 😉

4. Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

Are you one among those who browse the internet at several places? Home, Office, Laptop, etc? Imagine having to maintain a separate list of bookmarks at each browser! Foxmarks helps to overcome this problem by synchronizing the bookmarks between the ones on your system with the ones on the server. All you need is sign-up for an account (or you could also use your own FTP server) and foxmarks maintains a global bookmarks list on the server which is updated every time you add a new bookmark. Hence wherever you log on to the internet from, your bookmark list will be intact.

*This extension has saved my bookmarks several times when there were browser crashes, and I have no need to make backups while I’m reinstalling my OS. 🙂

5. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is an amazing extension that helps you ‘stumble upon’ webpages based upon your interests. This is one of the long standing extensions in the history of firefox and is awesome fun and very useful when you are searching for something specific.

*I have elaborated upon how to acquire StumbleUpon in one of my previous posts, take a look for complete instructions.

The next part of the series, will contain information on more utility addons which are particulary useful and help you browse the internet with ease.

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Getting StumbleUpon

About StumbleUpon:

Quote:
StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 3,686,922 other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.

How Does it Work?

Quote:
StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded ‘stumblers’ have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine.

More: http://www.stumbleupon.com/about.html

I’ve been using StumbleUpon for almost 4 years now and it is an amazing tool to websurf the internet. It is a great tool which has really helped me discover a lot of interesting pages on the internet, which I wouldn’t find in search engines too.

For all those, oblivious to the existence of such a tool or for those who were thinking it a cumbersome task to install it, I thought I’d share some thoughts on how easy it is to actually install and use it.

<< Getting to the work >>
Step 1: StumbleUpon supports two well known and most-used browsers – Mozilla Firefox (FF) and the Windows Internet Explorer (IE – Yes, it is now called as Windows Internet Explorer , not any more as Microsoft Internet Explorer)

Step 2: Downloading the BHO (Browser Help Object – IE) or the Extension (FF) is easy. Click on “Download Now – Free” on the mainpage of the stumbleupon website (http://www.stumbleupon.com) and you’ll be taken to the page to download it based upon the browser you are using.

Step 3: Installing – Follow the steps required for your browser and you may also need to restart your browser.

Step 4: After the restart, you’ll see a new toolbar that says: “Start Stumbling..”. If you have an account click on Login and enter your credentials or else you will have to create an account at StumbleUpon. Just follow the steps (might take you 2-3 minutes) and you are good to go.

Keep clicking on the Stumble! button and you’ll see a random page from all the topics of interest you chose. If you like a page click on “I like it” to increase the quality of your future stumbles.