Erikois

About me

Developer Information
Name Erikois
User since November 26, 2010
Number of add-ons developed 0 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Not yet rated

My Reviews

PrivacySuite

My favorite security tool for Firefox Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I have found Abine to be very useful for three reasons: it keeps track of all of your personal information (user names, passwords, credit cards, etc.), it automatically fills in your information for new sites you want to register with, and it keeps track of all cookies (Flash or otherwise) on your computer. The features provided are as good as, if not better than, products that have similar functions, but this has many more features than similar extensions.

I learned of Abine from a Wall Street Journal exposé on how websites and internet advertisers use cookies to track internet usage. The best solution they suggested was Abine for its shear amount of security it provides in just one extension. I will just elaborate on the three uses I listed above that I use the most. The first is how it sores your personal information. It will automatically remember log-in information for virtually all sites, and when you return to the site, a box will pop up with all of the user names it has remembered. Below it will have options like automatic log-on when you click on a username, but you can untick to deactivate those options. In the PrivacySuite main window (you access it through the drop-down menu to the right of Firefox's search box), there is a tab where you can view all of your user names and passwords sorted by website, and it will even tell you if you are using the same password too many times.

The second use I have found helpful is how it has several "identities" (the three default are "Me," "Protected," and "Anonymous") that automatically fill in registration forms depending on how much information you want to give out. "Anonymous" even makes a new email address that will forward messages, if you want, to your real email address so that you don't get extra spam. This includes date of birth, gender, and phone numbers. You can fill in credit card numbers in a different "app" within Abine to automatically fill those in as well; credit card numbers are NOT automatically stored.

The third way I use Abine is the one profiled in the WSJ articles: tracking and deleting cookies. This is fairly straightforward, but what I learned from the article is that Flash cookies are not removed by web browsers and can stay on your computer indefinitely. Abine is just one extension of several (BetterPrivacy is another) that finds and deletes them. Some cookies track your internet usage and some, called web beacons, track what you are viewing, your IP address, and even emails. Abine disables trackers and ad-networks, and you can delete all cookies on your computer with one button. However, some sites require some trackers to be on in order to use them, but a little box pops up when you go to a new site or when you hover over the icon, which allows you to change what is blocked.

I have found two major weaknesses with Abine's PrivacySuite that can be a turnoff for some people. It is intended to be used by one person on one computer because they have no support for multiple users on one computer or the ability to get your passwords from, say, your home computer from your work computer. The latter is a problem for me sometimes, especially if you use the random password ability for security. The second problem is that there is a learning curve in using the main menu. It is partly because they have so many features and options, but all of the menus are not necessarily cluttered. Once you get used to it, I find it almost second nature.

tl;dr I would recommend Abine to anyone who is worried about security on their computer and is willing to take the time to use most of its features. Setting up "identities" and learning how to use it does take a few minutes, but I certainly do not regret it.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.675).