recommended security & privacy add-ons that are minimally-invasive

by dabruro

32 Add-ons in this Collection

Adblock Plus by Wladimir Palant

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 4,193 reviews

18,586,319 users

Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more.

Adblock Plus blocks all annoying ads, and supports websites by not blocking unobtrusive ads by default (configurable).
Collector's Note This can act as a privacy add-on by blocking some elements and cookies that can be used to track you around the web. Make sure you install all three blocklists from fanboy or both blocklists from EasyList. Ghostery offers much of this privacy protection and more, but is more difficult to set up and more likely to interfere with the functionality of some websites. Adblock Plus has a larger community and usually they will discover any problems and hopefully they can be fixed before you're affected.

Web of Trust - WOT by WOT Services

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 1,300 reviews

1,362,734 users

Find out which websites you can trust. WOT adds intuitive traffic light-style icons next to search results and URLs to help you make informed decisions about whether to visit a site or not.
Collector's Note If you were only going to install one add-on, in most cases I would suggest that it be this one (perhaps accompanied by VTzilla secondly if you like to download software). WOT warns (or can optionally block) sites rated "red" by other users, when you try to visit such a site, regardless of how you got there. It also shows its red-yellow-green ratings on the results in major search engines. It has a very large user base so there's very wide coverage of sites. If you use public wifi hotspots (or unencrypted home wifi in a densely-populated or heavily-trafficked area) then I might recommend WOT second in importance after HTTPS Everywhere(get from eff.org), with HTTPS Finder and/or VTzilla after those.

Flashblock by Philip Chee

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 869 reviews

1,051,238 users

Never be annoyed by a Flash animation again! Blocks Flash so it won't get in your way, but if you want to see it, just click on...
Collector's Note I use this to block embedded Flash (& Silverlight) content on unknown sites, especially during periods of time in which Flash has a zero-day (unfixed) security vulnerability, as you might see in the press. You simply click on the Play triangle icon to activate/play the content. Or you can right-click to "whitelist" this site to automatically play such content in the future (then reload/refresh the page to make this effective immediately). An alternative to this addon is Enable Click to Play, which goes further in that it not only blocks Flash/Silverlight, but blocks all other plugin content, for example Java and various media players. But Enable Click to Play it isn't as intuitive to use (see my comments on it) as Flashblock.

BetterPrivacy by IKRG

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 382 reviews

657,507 users

Remove or manage a new and uncommon kind of cookies, better known as LSO's.The BetterPrivacy safeguard offers various ways to handle Flash-cookies set by Google, YouTube, Ebay and others...

Latest updates: See bottom link 'version history'!
Collector's Note I'm not entirely certain that this is needed in recent versions of Firefox which are supposed to try to apply your "regular" cookie settings to your Flash cookies as well. Let me know if you figure out the answer.

QuickJava by Doug G

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

289,315 users

Allows quick enable and disable of Java, Javascript, Cookies, Image Animations, Flash, Silverlight, Images, Stylesheets and Proxy from the Statusbar and/or Toolbar. This is great for increasing security or decreasing bandwidth.
Collector's Note Provides buttons to globally toggle Javascript, Images, CSS, and various plugins completely on or off individually. You can't make exceptions on a particular page or whitelist a site like you can in Enable Click To Play (or Flashblock, just for Flash/Silverlight). The benefit is that you can completely disable specific plugins (or non-plugin features like Images or CSS) independently of one another. You have to customize one of your toolbars to drag the buttons for the individual plugins/features of interest onto it. The number of buttons becomes unwieldy if you want this capability for more than a few plugins/features.

Cookies Manager+ by V@no

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

120,343 users

Cookies manager to view, edit and create new cookies. It also shows extra information about cookies, allows edit multiple cookies at once and backup/restore them.
Collector's Note Overkill for most of us for day-to-day use, but I've found it useful when I want to selectively "clean up" my cookies, sorting them by expiration date or creation date to either delete them or just change their expiration date.

WorldIP - Geo Add-on with Security Features by Alrond

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

49,037 users

Professional Geo Add-on with security features and advanced network tools. Anti-phishing. Protection against DNS spoofing and fake sites. All DNS records for domain. The real location of web server, country flag, extended information about datacenter
Collector's Note Shows country, city, & other info for current site. If it looks wrong for a familiar site then you could be on a phony/phishing site. This is a more compact alternative to "Website City + Country Info" (or you could use both). Shows a lot of info when you hover over it. Can only be placed in the address/location bar (flag icon only) or in the addon/status bar (chosen information). It can't be dragged to another toolbar (except using an addon like UI Fixer or MarMod 2 to make the entire set of unmovable addon bar items draggable together to another toolbar.) Doesn't show the Organization like Website City... does, though the "Provider" often gives similar information.

Google/Yandex search link fix by Wladimir Palant

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

49,666 users

This extension prevents Google and Yandex search pages from modifying search result links when you click them. This is useful when copying links but it also helps privacy by preventing the search engines from recording your clicks.

ipFlood by Paul Da Silva

Download Now

Experimental

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

46,683 users

Simulate the use of a series of proxy changing at each new connection.
Collector's Note This add-on tries to "trick" web sites to keep them from tracking you by your computer's IP address. Even better is to *actually* change your IP address periodically -- see http://www.whatismyip.com/faq/how-to-change-your-ip-address.asp , and go to whatismyip.com before and after to see that it's changed. If you can't change your actual IP address then you could try this add-on, but it's probably best for advanced users only. See my review: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ipflood/reviews/371375/ .

Webutation - Reputation & Security by Webutation

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

21,906 users

Would you like to know which websites are safe and which website you can trust?
The Webutation add-on shows you the reputation of a site with a simple green/yellow/red icon and scans websites against virus and bad userfeedback. Works similar to WOT.
Collector's Note Another aggregator of website reputation services, although it has some of its own rating capability. This one doesn't do anything with search results or warning or blocking; in this respect it's less capable than WOT or LinkExtend add-ons. It simply displays a toolbar icon indicating a score and color code for the present site you're on, so you have to notice or look at the icon in order to be "warned" of anything. I've been using this alongside LinkExtend and WOT as a third opinion (actually an aggregate of opinions having some overlap with the others). For example when WOT warns or blocks a page, I look over at the icons of LinkExtend and Webutation for more guidance. And I might click on my URLvoid bookmarklet (see my collector's notes for LinkExtend) to get a "fourth" opinion. Admittedly, this may be more than most users want or need, in which case just stick with WOT and LinkExtend.

UAControl by KAKINUMA Ryoumei

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

20,633 users

Control what gets sent as the User-Agent on a per-site basis.
Collector's Note I haven't tested this but it may be an alternative to ua-site-switch (and similarly will apparently benefit from having User-Agent JS Fixer installed as well).

ProfileSwitcher by Paolo "Kaosmos"

Download Now

Experimental

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

25,762 users

It adds some options to launch easily other profiles and the Profile Manager.
Collector's Note This add-on lets you switch Firefox user profiles easily, or even run multiple profiles *simultaneously* in separate windows (like the built-in functionality of the Chrome browser). A profile stores all of your preferences, history, bookmarks, add-ons, etc. For example you could use one profile for work, another for banking or web shopping, and a third for general surfing of unfamiliar sites. Keeping these separate can increase your security and privacy, and also allows you to set stricter security settings in the profile where you're most likely to run into a rogue site. An alternative is Switchy, which lets you switch profiles but run only one at a time.

Cookie Controller by iann

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

25,407 users

Buttons for managing site cookie permissions, switching global cookie permissions on and off, browsing cookies, and removing cookies. The same functions are included for local and session storage.
Collector's Note After installing this add-on, I suggest dragging only the Cookie Permissions button onto the toolbar -- this is the site-specific one. You can get to the other functions via the legacy Tools menu (Alt+t) --> CookieController. For starters you can use that menu to go into "about:config...". There, you can set network.cookie.thirdparty.sessionOnly = true , network.cookie.lifetimePolicy = 3, and network.cookie.lifetime.days = 8. This means by default each cookie will expire if you don't actually visit their site for 8 days (you can choose a different number of days). If they set the cookie via another site you visited (as a "third party"), then the cookie will expire as soon as you end your browser session (though see warning about this in my notes for the Select Tabs to Restore addon). This will reduce the chance of being tracked over long periods of time, without the risk of a site not working because of cookies you blocked completely. You can use Cookie Controller to easily set exceptions for sites that you want to recognize you for longer periods of time, e.g. if you don't want to have to login again every week or re-answer your security questions at a banking site: simply click on the Cookie Permissions toolbar button (right-click for more choices).

BrowserProtect by Sheldon Lennon

Rated 4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

41,348 users

Alert and block browser hijacks on your Firefox.
Collector's Note Designed to help protect you against having your browser configuration changed (e.g. by an add-on) without your knowledge, which seems like a good idea if it works. I've been using it but I haven't tested it by trying to get a change that it should catch so I can't yet vouch for its effectiveness. It hasn't warned me yet, so at least it doesn't appear to be intrusive by giving a lot of false positives.

Muter by Yuan Xulei(袁徐磊)

Let you mute the Firefox browser.
Collector's Note This is a "mute" button for the browser. It can protect you from intrusive audio (including the audio track of video and flash) that may start playing automatically and unexpectedly when you visit a site. It thus protects your privacy because it prevents others around you from accidentally hearing audio.
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