Firefox adds active tracking protection

If you are a Firefox user you might have noticed the Do Not Track option in the Privacy tab in preferences. The caveat is, websites are not required to honour the request. Even the incognito mode doesn’t ensure that websites can’t collect data. When you are tracked, websites can collect information to identify you uniquely. Continue reading Firefox adds active tracking protection

uBlock: lean efficient ad-block plugin

ublock_compIf you are not aware of it already, Adblock Plus is one of the most resource intensive browser add-ons out there. Yet many of use it to stop annoying ads, flash etc. uBlock is a new bowser add-on that brings to you the functionality of Adblock Plus, only at the cost of lesser resources. There are other alternatives like Disconnect and Privacy Badger but none of them are as light as uBlock.

uBlock is not just an ad blocker, it is a generl purpose blocker which uses lists like EasyList to block websites. EasyList, Peter Lowe’s Adservers, EasyPrivacy are enabled in uBlock by default. It also supports hosts files. There is an advanced user mode which allows more fine-grained control on the extension like dynamic filtering, which works like a firewall with custom rules.

From the authors performance analysis results, uBlock uses lesser RAM than Adguard, AdBlock and Adblock Plus, much lesser processing and blocking count better than all (second only to Ghostery) these three.

The author advices not too use any other blocker along with uBlock as uBlock can handle things better than all of them.

uBlock is available for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It also works great on Yandex Browser which I am using.

Webpage: uBlock

Privacy Badger: new browser add-on to block trackers

Privacy Badger is a new browser extension being developed by EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) to protect your online privacy. Privacy Badger blocks spying ads and invisible trackers. It’s there to ensure that companies can’t track your browsing without your consent.

While there are tools like Disconnect which also do the job well Privacy Badger gives you a clearer view of which trackers are trying to track you. It also allows you more control on dealing with the trackers.

Privacy Badger sends a Do Not Track header with each request and when it finds that the request is not being honored, it automatically blocks any requests being sent to the domain. Each tracker is denoted by 3 suggestive states: GREEN (unblocked), YELLOW (do not send cookies or referrers) and RED (block). You can change the state manually too. Advertisers and other third-party domains can unblock themselves in Privacy Badger by making a strong commitment to respect Do Not Track requests. By including this mechanism, Privacy Badger not only protects users who install it, but actually provides incentives for better privacy practices across the entire Web.

It is still in an Alpha stage as we write and needs more testing. We encourage readers to try it out and send feedback or bug reports. Currently it supports Firefox and Google Chrome.

Similar extension for Firefox – Ghostery.

Webpage: Privacy Badger

Disconnect: ensure online privacy

Disconnect is a browser plugin which enhances your online privacy by blocking invisible tracking websites. It has an intuitive interface and can also show you the count of blocked trackers. The number can be overwhelming sometimes, e.g. opening the Yahoo! homepage shows 45 trackers blocked! It saves your bandwidth and reduces the number of your online footprints. The types of trackers it can detect and block are Ads, Analytics, Social and Content. Works on Firefox and Google Chrome.

Disconnect Search is a Beta plugin which lets you search privately without being tracked. Currently it supports Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko and DuckDuckGo. It can also integrate itself to the omnibox (address bar) search or search from anywhere (now a Beta feature). It anonymizes your search terms from search engines, resulting websites and ISPs. An alternative to this plugin is to use Startpage as your default search engine.

Webpage: Disconnect, Disconnect Search

[Courtesy: Jester Raiin]