You’re off to a good start with using Firefox. You might need a few extra add-ons to improve your security and privacy on-line, though. Here are some essential extensions you should install right away. These should be simple enough for anyone to use.
Smart HTTPS (revived), Everyone Needs This
Most websites you visit have an HTTPS encrypted link. It’s ok if you don’t really know what SSLTLS is. It is just a way to encrypt all the data between your computer and a website. This is a very good thing.
With Let’s Encrypt being available for web developers, even more sites use the feature than ever before. Unfortunately, FireFox won’t always use it by default. With Smart HTTPS (revived) you’ll know that if HTTPS is available, you’ll be using it.
An alternative is HTTPS Everywhere. It was developed by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation and the Tor Project. It is hard to be more credible than that. This one has more complex options for power users, but we are trying to keep it simple. Smart HTTPS (revived) is more likely to connect you to HTTPS on sites it doesn’t already have rules for.
If you want to use Disconnect, you should install it right after Smart HTTPS (revived), so that the metrics work correctly. This extension blocks tracking cookies and links. It can even help speed up page load times, and extend battery life. Its primary purpose is to keep companies like Facebook and Google from knowing your every move.
Another, offering from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation is Privacy Badger. It does what Disconnect does, but it doesn’t use an existing blacklist. Privacy Badger monitors how sites interact with Firefox and builds its own blocklist based on that. It takes a while for Privacy Badger to actually start protecting you, but it is completely “set and forget.”
Once you have installed Privacy Badger you should never have to think about it again.
Many websites use content delivery networks. Decentraleyes preloads these common resources to your computer for faster loading times and greater privacy. Simple as that.
Not everyone is keen on using an ad blocker. You can skip this one if you want, but white-listing sites is as simple as hitting the big power button in the settings menu. Having an adblocker installed can protect you on some malicious sites. Ublock Origin can also, stop more site tracking that other add-ons miss.
More of a bonus add-on, Bloody Vikings simplifies setting up dummy e-mail accounts for forums and the like. Having your e-mail hit with spam is terrible. Using this can help keep that from happening.
An alternative is Gish-it. These are the two that I know work. I’m sure there are more.
Stay Safe Out There
Feel free to enjoy the Internet with a little more safety. I little common sense will do more than any browser extension so stay safe out there. Remember that installing too many add-ons can actually slow down your computer. If there are some add-ons out there that we missed, let us know.