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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Browsers and Internet
Firefox 26 with "Enhanced Privacy"
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jan 2014, 14:30    Post subject:  Firefox 26 with "Enhanced Privacy"
Subject description: Redirect Cleaner also blocks some tracking
 

This is a version of Firefox that results from the discussion of Avoiding Tracking -> http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=745686#745686

It does NOT provide any protection from NSA type snooping nor will it help if you live in a repressive country that censors access to the world wide web (for that the TOR-Project is usually recommended, but it came out in the discussion that your computer can be identified even through a proxy like TOR). What this version does is to block perhaps 90% of the attempts to track your browsing habits for people who prefer that. Blocking the tracking also cuts down on the traffic pages generate to and from your computer, which may allow pages to load faster. It also blocks much known malware and phishing without using the google method (which of course provides tracking info to google). The design goal is that it blocks the tracking without wrecking any web pages or requiring constant fiddling--it is "set and forget," in other words.

How it works and how to do it yourself

The well-tested and respected Add-On Adblock Plus now has a list that blocks tracking, called EasyPrivacy. According to a Stanford study this is one of the most effective anti-tracking add-ons (blocking a bit over 80% of tracking attempts). Adblock also has an anti-malware and phishing list that does not report any information to google (which is used by the built-in Firefox anti-malware option). The 4th list removes the Facebook, Twitter and other buttons on web pages, because even if you do not click the buttons, they still phone home and can contribute to tracking and extra traffic--this should block another 5-10% of tracking attempts (estimated) To do this yourself, just install Adblock Plus and Activate the Options for Privacy, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Social Media buttons. Of course, Adblock Plus also blocks ads--some of which are targeted at you as a result of tracking--I can't imagine using the internet without it. If you miss the extra lists when installing Adblock Plus, you can get them here -> https://adblockplus.org/en/features

Firefox Settings
Do Not Track. Ignored by trackers, but you have to start somewhere. The ultimate goal is that all websites and Apps would have a prominent and effective Do Not Track button. (It is a small controversy that Do Not Track is set on by default in recent versions of Internet Explorer, believe it or not.)

Anti-Phishing and Malware. Turned off in Firefox because handled by Adblock without reporting to google.

Custom settings for History: Deletes cookies and auto logins when you close Firefox. Cookies are a main means of tracking--the downside is that your bank, for example, will think you are connecting from a new computer and may ask an extra security question. Auto-Logins are also a means of tracking--if you login to a google service such as YouTube you are logging in to all of google and that allows tracking; it is recommended that you always log out before you leave a web site that requires login--this option does it if you forget.

The Stanford study mentioned above is recommended if you are interested in anti-tracking -> http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6730 Here is one interesting finding: "While content blocking can effectively prevent third-party tracking, a content blocking tool is only as effective as its list of rules on what to block (often called a "blocklist")....Please note: Chrome, Safari, Mobile Safari, and the Android browser DO NOT presently support content blocking. Firefox extensions are able to block content, and users can install blocklists in Internet Explorer 9."

Note: This is not anti-google, nor will it save the world. It is just for people who prefer to retain some control of their internet use from a desktop or laptop computer. Smartphones and tablets are hopeless--the tracking ability has been built-in from the ground up.

This pet has been tested in Slacko 5.6 and Lucid 5.2.8.005
http://diddywahdiddy.net/Puppy500/Firefox-26EP-Lucid.pet

This is not the last word. I like it because it is all done with one add-on and some Firefox preferences, which keeps it simple. There are other means to the same end, particularly Ghostery and NoScript. Anyone interested may wish to contribute to the Avoiding Tracking discussion mentioned in the first sentence.

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Last edited by playdayz on Sat 25 Jan 2014, 12:22; edited 1 time in total
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan 2014, 13:26    Post subject:  

I have been testing the Firefox add-on Redirect Cleaner with the above configuration. The purpose is that when you search google, the results do not take you directly to the respective sites; rather they take you back to google which then redirects you to the site. This 1) takes time and 2) allows google to monitor your choices. I was surprised that with Redirect Cleaner active I get from the google results to the respective site noticeably faster (because it goes direct--no stopping off to report to google).

To install, Firefox -> Addons -> Search Redirect Cleaner.

Example, Search google for "puppy linux". The first is the link that results with Redirect Cleaner, the second without Redirect Cleaner. You can see the links by right-clicking the link in the google results page and copying and pasting them.

http://www.puppylinux.com/

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDgQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.puppylinux.com%2F&ei=xOHjUoWnFObUsATa6oCADA&usg=AFQjCNEKL8nFiy5RSpACLrudcoub2CpKfA&bvm=bv.59930103,d.cWc
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keniv

Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 200
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu 13 Feb 2014, 17:56    Post subject:  

Hello playdayz

After becoming fed up with problems with Opera I decided to install your version of Firefox. All has gone well. I updated it and added Redirect Cleaner as you suggested. However, I use three forums where I find it useful to remain logged in and retain their cookies. In order to do this I would like to have the option of retaining these logins and cookies when I quit but clear the rest. In order to keep them I have had to uncheck cookies and active logins in "settings for clearing history" but this leaves the those I would want to clear as well. I have found an extension called CookieKeeper (shown below) which would seem to do what I want at least with the cookies but have been put of installing it as the author is said to be unknown. I am unfamiliar with Firefox and don't know if there is a better way of doing this. I wondered if you knew of a way. If not could you advise me if I would be taking a risk by installing CookieKeeper.

Regards,

Ken.
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labbe5

Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar 2014, 12:21    Post subject: Do Not Track Me or Ghostery and Better Privacy
Subject description: a new level of privacy
 

Hi,

You might want another level of privacy added : Do Not Track Me or Ghostery are a must. Addons for Firefox, they block redirecting, as well as trackers and cookies.
I am more familiar with Ghostery, and pleased with the result : you are aware of its usefulness, thanks to a panel that appears each time something is blocked, and the list of blocked items are sometimes impressive.
When used with a full-featured Adblock Plus, you have a pretty pleasant surfing experience, with nothing to disturb you while surfing on the web. No redirects, no ads whatsoever.
And thanks for suggesting another addon for Firefox : Redirect Cleaner. Since it is focused on one thing, it may be a better tool to prevent ads from reaching us, via redirecting.
All of that is adding to a speedy surfing of the web. The waiting time is reduced to a minimum beetween one site to another, even from one page to another on the same site.
Last word : have a try at Better Privacy, addon for Firefox, as well. It kills long lasting cookies related to flash.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Sun 09 Mar 2014, 16:58    Post subject:  

Quote:
I use three forums where I find it useful to remain logged in and retain their cookies. In order to do this I would like to have the option of retaining these logins and cookies when I quit but clear the rest. In order to keep them I have had to uncheck cookies and active logins in "settings for clearing history" but this leaves the those I would want to clear as well. I have found an extension called CookieKeeper (shown below) which would seem to do what I want at least with the cookies but have been put of installing it as the author is said to be unknown. I am unfamiliar with Firefox and don't know if there is a better way of doing this. I wondered if you knew of a way. If not could you advise me if I would be taking a risk by installing CookieKeeper.

I have not investigated this in depth, but I notice that CookieKeeper now has 6 reviews and the author is identified, version 1.7.0. The author says it is an update of CookieCuller. By searching Addons for Cookie, quite a few cookie managers show up.

Quote:
You might want another level of privacy added : Do Not Track Me or Ghostery are a must. Addons for Firefox, they block redirecting, as well as trackers and cookies.
I am more familiar with Ghostery, and pleased with the result :

From the graph at the end of the first message, Ghostery is about as good as Adblock Plus. I think people might ask if both are necessary or could even slow things down or cause conflicts. I don't know myself. I used Do Not Track Me, but in the graph in the first message it seems not as effective as Adblock Plus or Ghostery.
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jangelelcangry

Joined: 28 May 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon 10 Mar 2014, 02:37    Post subject:  

Thanks,downloaded installed and up and running! Smile
When I check the browsers version the browser will automatically update to the latest build which is like the windows version 27.0.1
+1!
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keniv

Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 200
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun 16 Mar 2014, 07:26    Post subject:  

Hi playdayz

Quote:
I have not investigated this in depth, but I notice that CookieKeeper now has 6 reviews and the author is identified, version 1.7.0. The author says it is an update of CookieCuller. By searching Addons for Cookie, quite a few cookie managers show up.


I looked at the other cookie managers but decided CookieKeeper best suited my needs. I read the reviews and decided to install it. Currently I am keeping six cookies. All other cookies are deleted at shut down of Firefox. Thanks again for your help.

Regards,

Ken.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8342

PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014, 09:34    Post subject:  

On the subject of cookies I just noticed this

The gang complained about the news being added to 4shared results. I noticed one browser did not show them which i happen to have been trying out selectively blocking cookies soooo

I cleared cookies and turned on the approval of each one.... went to 4shared and picked a file.... as the approvals came up I denyed any that did not have 4shared in the name.... lo and behold no news AND some other annoying ads gone too....if you tick the remember box then you only have to do this once.

In this case it was just about using the built in firefox option and I would assume with the junk ads and news comes other behind the scenes tracking...perhaps in blocking the cookies there is no way to feedback for revenue purposes so it all falls in a heap.

Anyway just reaffirming how you can make a difference to the quality of web browsing.

mike
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 851
Location: GIRT-BY-SEA

PostPosted: Sat 03 May 2014, 23:03    Post subject:  

I never actually close my browser, I just pull the rug out from under Firefox by powering down the PC, and leaving it to Firefox to sort itself out at next startup. This always seems to work okay. Shocked

What I'd like is a shell script that at boot time (or at power down) deletes all cookies except those matching some domains that I've specified somewhere that I'd like to keep.

Each of my staged switch-off "crashes" apparently generates a minidump to be mailed back to mozilla. I found 2,800 .dmp and .extra files in ..../*.default/minidumps! So I deleted that minidumps directory and created a file by that same name. Take that, mozilla! So far, the file is blocking Firefox from creating a directory to fill with more minidumps.

I'm sure I haven't powered down 1,400 times! So can't understand why there are so many files. (I have unticked "report crash information" but it mysteriously keeps re-ticking itself!) At least now if it reports it might not have anything to report. Wink
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8342

PostPosted: Sun 04 May 2014, 06:31    Post subject:  

Well if you hard shutdown how could it remember your options......

Follow up...due to firefox and its ability to not respect its settings in later versions I blocked the domains of the cookies in the router instead. Works very effectively and does not require farting around with a dozen or more setups. This also blocks google ads and facebook ones amongst others. A really useful option that routers have and save a lot of time...thats if saving time is your bag baby.

mike
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