[SATLUG] Questions about privacy and related ad-ons.

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Tue Mar 5 22:01:25 CST 2013

On Mar 5, 2013, at 7:19 PM, cdv7 at sbcglobal.net wrote:

> Two reputable sources recommended Adblock Plus.  DuckDuckGo also recommends this ad-on and several others too- http://fixtracking.com/
> What has been your experience using these ad-ons and are there some you would _not_ recommend? Also, what would be the best way to combine them for the best browsing experience?

IMO, AdBlock Plus is great for doing what the name says -- blocking ads.  It can also help increase your privacy and security somewhat, because some of the ad tracking networks do some seriously nasty stuff behind the scenes, and when you block their ads you're also blocking the other nasty stuff they do.  But that's only a side-effect.

Ghostery is great at blocking some stuff, I also like PrivacyChoice TrackerBlock, DNTMe (DoNotTrackMe), NoScript, BetterPrivacy, Collusion (to give you an idea of what tracking cookies, etc... are put on your browser by what sites, and how these sites all connect to each other behind the scenes), and WOT (Web Of Trust) to help me avoid going to web sites that are known to be suspicious.

I also use LastPass as a password generator/manager for all the various web sites that I go to, and I work very hard to make sure that each site gets a totally unique and highly un-guessable password (20 or more random alpha-numeric characters with upper and lower case, as well as most special characters).

However, for the ultimate in privacy, you have to go with the TOR Browser.  It's based on Firefox, but it's got a lot of stuff added on to maximize privacy -- plus, it routes all traffic through the TOR "onion" network, so that sites can't track your real IP addresses.  You might be able to combine that with the above tools to get even better.

They used to have a TOR plugin pack for Firefox, but it got too hard to maintain that, so they switched to building their own custom version of Firefox.

But pretty much all of the most popular privacy/security-related extensions shown at <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/privacy-security/?sort=users> are good.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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