Steps Into Online Security – Step #1 Firefox

September 13th, 2010   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

Seth asked me to put together a few short pieces on simple steps to Internet Security. So, I will be giving you a few simple things to do to make yourself safe – one step at a time. These will be easy things.

I suppose I should add that one of these steps will concern a product that I sell, but there is really no way around that – it is a necessary product and we went into this business because it mattered, not because we wanted a quick buck.

But, today we begin with step number one.

YOUR BROWSER

The browser we recommend is Firefox. Not only is it an excellent browser, but it is open source, which means that every line of the program is available to be seen and analyzed by anyone. Microsoft, for example, does not expose their source code, and we can only guess as to what their software really does underneath the hood. (Or just take their word for it.) If Firefox put in an NSA backdoor, lots of people would be screaming about it, and fast.

ADDITIONS AND SETTINGS

You can download Firefox for free, by the way, here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/upgrade.html

But not only is Firefox open source, it has excellent security add-ons. Once you are running Firefox, click on the TOOLS menu, then ADD-ONS. We recommend that you install Better Privacy and NoScript. Both are easy to operate and go a long way toward keeping you safe.

By the way: Running NoScript may keep some sites from operating fully.
If so, just look for the little NoScript icon at the bottom-right and
click on it. You can always manually permit scripts to run with a couple
of clicks.

We also recommend that you set your cookie preferences to clear every time Firefox shuts. That allows you to accept session cookies (for shopping at Amazon, for example), but to get rid of them ASAP afterward. To do this, click on the TOOLS menu, then OPTIONS, then the PRIVACY tab. Work with the options presented to you there – they will be fairly obvious and self-explanatory.

We’ll move to step #2 next time, but if you do this you’ve made a nice start.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul A. Rosenberg

Paul Rosenberg is the owner of Cryptohippie.com

8 Responses to “Steps Into Online Security – Step #1 Firefox”

  1. freewillobjectorNo Gravatar says:

    I just switched to Firefox after reading about it on Lew Rockwell.org. Anybody have any firsthand experience with it, let me know if it works.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve been using Firefox since day one. I love it.

    • atlasdaddyNo Gravatar says:

      Without question, Firefox is by far the best web browser out there. Not only is it the most secure but the ability to change it how you see fit is beyond compare. Skins, add-ons, and the ability to tweak its speed and security settings as well as its built in spell check are what attracted me to it. I have been using it for 2 years now and I have yet to have any problems with it. Hope that helps.

  2. hackb0y294No Gravatar says:

    I use and love Firefox, as well as the Linux OS, and I think a couple more Add-Ons could be included in your list, namely: TorButton (allows one click access to the anonymous Tor Network), FlashKiller (kills all Flash contents on a website with one click), & Ghosterey (blocks web bugs like Google Analytics). Thanks for the article, and I hope more people will turn to free, open-source software, and stop supporting the Establishment.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      The Tor network is something I am intrigued by and would like to learn more about. It sounds like it has the potential for awesomeness, or perhaps is already?

      • hackb0y294No Gravatar says:

        It is awesome; here’s an overview of the project: http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en

        • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

          Wow! Thanks for this. Tor does seem pretty awesome. But it will be even more awesome when half of its funding no longer comes from government. What will Tor do when the government shuts them down? How will they survive? Anyways, I do plan on looking into Tor some more. But I’m still doing baby steps to online security. I need to finish mastering this encryption thing first!

  3. nemokama muzikaNo Gravatar says:

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