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The 4 Best Firefox Mobile Extensions for Privacy & Security « Android :: Gadget Hacks


One unique feature of Firefox Mobile is actually extensions. Extensions allow users to add in features which didn’t originally come with the browser. These add-ons provide an array of features, including improvement to privacy as well as security.

There are many steps you can take to improve privacy within the browser without using extensions. We actually did a whole article detailing the modifications you can make within the app’s settings to shore up security — see the link below to check the idea out. However, the idea is actually only with extensions which you genuinely upgrade your defenses, as well as the four we’ll highlight below should make a huge difference.

How to Add an Extension

If you’ve never added an extension to Firefox Mobile before, we recommend reading the link below, which breaks down the process of installing your first add-ons. Once you review the article, head over to the next section for our first recommendation.

1. HTTPS Everywhere

This specific extension is actually the result of a collaboration between the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) as well as the Tor Project. While many websites have switched to HTTPS (a more secure way to browse websites), they tend to not completely make the transition. Instead of the entire website using encrypted HTTPS links, some default to the unencrypted HTTP or include links to HTTP pages.

With HTTPS Everywhere, all these links will utilize the encrypted HTTPS to ensure which no matter where you travel within a site, your data will be protected.

One limitation with HTTPS Everywhere is actually which the idea requires the website to already employs HTTPS. Sites which haven’t updated to the more secure protocol will not benefit by This specific extensions at all. However, many favorite websites already have made the switch, as well as therefore, This specific extension protects users by web developers’ poor (or lazy) implementations.

2. uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is actually a free, open-source extension which includes a robust ad-blocker, protects against trackers, as well as much more. The extensions utilize lists (which are constantly updated) to stop known trackers, cookies, as well as malware.

You can add your own lists to uBlock Origin to improve the filtering ability depending on the level of privacy as well as security you need. as well as unlike many various other ad-blockers, the idea is actually light on resources (including memory), as well as will therefore not severely impact performance with its use.

Additionally, uBlock includes a whitelist, allowing users to exempt certain websites by its protection. This specific feature is actually useful for websites which break due to its ad-blocking as well as tracking protection. With uBlock Origin’s versatility, any privacy-conscious individual will benefit by its features.

3. Privacy Badger

Another EFF product, Privacy Badger is actually also an ad-blocker which protects against trackers. However, instead of depending on a continuously updated list like uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger actively monitors the sites you visit, identifying the source for each line of code. If the extension believes the same source is actually tracking you, Privacy Badger will immediately block the idea.

Privacy Badger is actually aware of the common methods to employ tracking such as cookies as well as fingerprinting (see below), as well as the idea looks for these tools within the embedded images as well as ads found on any webpage.

While Privacy Badger’s primary function isn’t ad blocking, the idea is actually able to accomplish This specific using its anti-tracking tools. So while the idea won’t block all ads, when used in conjunction with uBlock Origin, the idea should eliminate most advertisements.

4. CanvasBlocker

Browser fingerprinting is actually a technique used by advertisers to identify as well as track users across websites. Instead of relying on cookies, websites collect an abundance of seemingly innocent information which together can paint an identifiable picture of the user. For example, the website will gather the operating system as well as variation, screen resolution, touch points, browser app, as well as more, which when collected together, starts to form a unique set of data.

Using This specific data, advertisers can identify you across a multitude of websites, gain key insight into who you are as well as where your interests lie. using a more specific technique called canvas fingerprinting, the strength of the ID is actually greatly increased.

Websites will send your browser a complex image to render. Your phone’s specific combination of GPU, operating system, as well as browser will render the image differently than various other devices could. The pixel values are then captured as well as hashed. This specific is actually then used to track you across the web.

With the latest stable variation (58), Firefox has included the ability to block websites by using canvas fingerprinting to identify users. Unfortunately, This specific will break some websites when implemented as well as is actually still a little buggy. Mozilla promises Firefox 59 will improve on This specific protection, however inside meantime, we recommend using CanvasBlocker instead.

With CanvasBblocker, you can opt to block as well as spoof the API used to create the fingerprint. By default, CanvasBlocker will force the readout of the image to return a random value each time, preventing a unique value.

With these four extensions, you gain tools which further secure your browser. Since we use our browsers often, we should employ the maximum protection they offer. What are your thoughts on our recommendations? Do you have any various other suggestions? Let us know inside comments below.

Cover image as well as screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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