New Firefox and Handy Chrome Extensions, bloat & Security.
November 24, 2017
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Even after reading that my old favouraite browser Firefox is making a comeback, I think it will be a while before I try to abandon Chrome; and the reason is the integrations and extensions are great for security and quality of life. I also think it is best to keep the number of extensions limited, because that in-turn might keep memory bloat down and should limit unknown future vulnerabilities.
- Fair AdBlocker – a browser ad blocking widget, which is mandatory to me; especially as there are websites where I am very happy to see their ads and you can choose what to see.
- a few GoogleDoc related plugins, but not all of them, as each adds bloat. I do love GoogleDocs, sure they lack a few features, but they are pretty amazing.
- a password manager, I’m not goiung to say which (because while everyone should be using one, I don’t think I should give a hacker an easy start), but its one of the big ones and is excellent in terms of features and ease of use UI.
- HTTPS Everywhere – which tries to force your browser session to always use the https protocol; in plain terms that means your should be a little safer.
Understand too that enabling widgets and extensions also introduces risks too. Who created it, are they seeing your traffic in real time (like many of the spell-checkers)? What information of yours do they store externally? What if they are hacked? Recommend being smart and using as few as possible.
Back on browser choice – Chrome is plenty fast as is, has a linked ID to my home PC and phone so my bookmarks will sync between devices, and does not crash. The ad blocking and password manager are tools I cannot live without. And although I’ve ony be using uMatrix for a very short time it has already impressed.
One key feature I read about recently was having FireFox tell you if the site you are visiting is also listed on HaveIbeenPwned (via Lifehacker) – such a great widget idea, and one that has been written as a plug-in for Chrome and others for a long while.
I really recommend registering for HIBP too; in fact I registered my families accounts for them.
Happy & safe browsing folks.