Browsers Internet

7 Best Browser Security Extensions you need to stay safe

Why Browser Security Extension

The internet is essentially like a vast disease and parasite filled jungle. If you’re moving around on it through your browser, you need to make sure that you’re well protected from infections of all types. It’s easy, very easy, to find yourself the victim of hackers, Trojans, data miners, information thieves, viruses, worms and malicious bots all over the web. There are also fun programs like spyware, malware and adware that can screw your computer up. With all these threats lurking around the net, hidden in many forms, you should really think about maintaining tight security all around.

While it’s a good idea to install a firewall on your computer, a malware scrubber and reliable antivirus software, your first line of defense will be the point of entry: your browser; secure this and you will dramatically decrease the possibility of attacks from external threats before they get a chance to enter your computer or steal your personal data. Here are some excellent browser extensions that can help you keep your machine and your private information safe.

NotScript and NoScript

NotScript is a Chrome extension while NoScript is a Firefox extension; they both do essentially the same thing to different degrees. Both programs will block script using applications on the websites that run them while you browse. Since these scripts are commonly prone to code attacks on your machine, it’s generally a good idea to avoid them where possible. NoScript is considerably more versatile than NotScript since it will block any kinds of scripts, while its Chrome counterpart can only be used against JavaScript.
In the case of both programs, you can place certain sites you trust on a white-list to avoid having their scripting apps blocked off. This is also useful since some web pages that are trustworthy absolutely depend on flash or JavaScript to run.

Web of Trust

If you decide to use just a single security extension for your Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer browser, make it Web of Trust. This extension rates almost every website you visit and gives it a green, amber or red warning depending on its trustworthiness. The information that generates this is based on user reviews, so you can also add your own opinion into the mix; very accurate and very reliable.

Adblocker Plus

This handy little extension will essentially purge your browsing experience of advertisements and other annoying ad based things like popup ads and such. Adblocker isn’t so much as security plugin as it is a nuisance elimination tool, but the extension’s ability to eliminate ads does play an important security function: ads are where many renegade malware and spyware programs Gide, waiting to infect the computer of someone who clicks on them. Getting rid of them removes the potential for many accidents.


This excellent data security extension, available for Chrome, Firefox and IE, is a great tool for managing all your online passwords easily while keeping them extremely secure. The extension allows you to create a single master password with which you manage all your other login prompts through the plugin’s internal password creator. The security benefit is that LastPass creates much stronger passwords for all your online data than any you are likely to try remembering later on. This tool is very handy for stopping brute force password crack attacks against your online banking, credit card and any other passkey enabled access pages.

HTTPS Everywhere

This extension was created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to secure all digital communication between your browser and other servers and websites through high strength encryption. It mainly protects your data transmissions so that the login information and other sensitive data you’re inputting all over the place cannot be stolen and used to defraud you or hack your personal accounts or web based access points. Unfortunately, the HTTPS Everywhere plugin is still only available for Firefox.


Keyscrambler is a keystroke encryption tool that will take all of your typed in characters and encrypt them at the level of your keyboard drivers while at the same time letting you see what you’ve written on your screen. The encryption protects your typed information from secretly installed keystroke loggers that might be hiding in your computer; they will only see a stream of gibberish instead of your vulnerable personal data. The Keyscrambler extension is available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Your Browser

No, this isn’t another security extension, it’s a bonus point you should keep in mind: The brand of browser you use will also have a big impact on your data and computer security. Of the three main browsers, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer, Chrome has recently been ranked as the most secure and most robustly protected against frequently updating threats. Chrome’s list of features such as script and process sandboxing, Just in Time engine hardening and basic plugin installation security make it the award winner against its less advanced rivals Firefox and IE. Chrome also seems to have the shortest response time against constantly changing malware threats. Go with Chrome for better security; it’s sleek, fast and won’t overload your RAM like Firefox is prone to doing with its latest versions.

Browsers Internet

10 useful Firefox 13 Customizations

One of the reasons Firefox is my favorite web browser is because it is highly customizable. Not only are there a lot of useful add-ons that you can download, but the browser can be customized with simple commands inside the about:config page. If you don’t like something about Firefox, you can usually find a command in the about:config page to change things up to your liking. This tutorial is created for Firefox 13, so it may or may not work in other versions of Firefox.

Todays’ post will list 10 useful Firefox 13 customizations. Most of these customizations are implemented by opening Firefox and typing “about:config” into the web address bar. You will get a warning that tells you to be careful. Click on the “I’ll be careful, I promise” button and follow the steps below to implement each change.

1. Change the default starting tab

One of the big change in Firefox 13 was the styling of new tabs. When you open a new tab in

Firefox 13, the default start page now displays a grid of bookmarked websites and popular websites from your history bar. The new tab layout in Firefox 13 resembles the Chrome start page.

Some people (including myself) are not big fans of the new start page. If you would prefer new tabs to start on a blank page or a custom URL, access the about:config page and look for the search bar at the top. Type “browser.startup.homepage” into the search bar.

Double click the one result that comes up and type in the URL of any website. For example, I use and now Google is my default starting page. You can also use about:blank to start all new tabs on a blank page.

2. Disable Google Autocomplete

Google autocomplete drives me nuts. It flickers around showing me all kinds of search results and tries to suggest new searches for me while I’m busy typing my search term. I type way too quickly for this to be anything but annoying.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to disable autocomplete. Use the following URL as your homepage or new tab page:

Congratulations, you have finally defeated the dreaded autocomplete “feature.”

3. Disable the Delay for Add-On Installations

This is a quick little tweak that eliminates the mandatory countdown timer that is associated with installing new plugins. The delay is designed to protect you from malicious software installation, but you can easily disable the delay if you feel comfortable around computers.

Visit the about:config menu, search for “security.dialog_enable_delay” and double click on the first result that appears. Change the value to zero and hit “OK.” You can now install plugins without waiting.

4. Close Tabs with Your Mouse Wheel

This isn’t really an about:config customization, but it’s still useful. If you work with a lot of tabs in Firefox, it can get old to repeatedly click on the tiny “X” to close tabs. One simple trick is to just place your cursor on the tab and click down on your mouse’s scroll wheel.

5. Disable Auto Refresh

Some websites like to automatically refresh the page after a certain amount of time. For example, I browse sometimes and that site randomly refreshes on me. These auto refreshes are annoying but they can be disabled inside your about:config page.

Visit the about:config page and search for the following term: accessibility.blockautorefresh

Two results will appear, choose the shorter one that matches your search term exactly. Double click on that result and change the value to false. Web pages will now stop auto refreshing.

6. Use the Mouse Wheel to Open Links in a New Tab

Here is another quick trick that doesn’t require the about:config page. Most people right click on links and choose “Open Link in New Tab.” You can save yourself a click by simply placing your cursor over the link and clicking down on the mouse wheel. This will open the link in a new tab.

7. Disable Blinking Text

Some websites use blinking text on their pages. This serves no purpose other than to be an annoying strain on the eyes. You can disable blinking text by visiting the about:config page and searching for “browser.blink_allowed”.

Double click on the search result and change the value to false. Blinking text will soon become a distant memory.

8. See More Tabs

Open enough tabs in Firefox and eventually you’ll stop seeing new tabs. All new tabs will be replaced with a little arrow on the side of the tab bar. If you would like to see more tabs in Firefox, you can adjust the width of each tab and fit more tabs into the tab bar before new tabs start disappearing.

Visit the about:config page and search for “browser.tabs.tabClipWidth”. The default value is 140. Change that value to something smaller and tabs will now take up less horizontal space.

9. Stop Selecting Spaces Next to Words

When you double click a word in Firefox, that word is automatically highlighted for easy copy/pasting. The one problem is that the space next to the word is highlighted by default. I prefer to select the exact word and leave the space out.

You can change this by visiting the about:config page and searching for “layout.word_select.eat_space_to_next_word”. Double click on the first result to change the value to false. Now, you can double click any word in Firefox and only that exact word will be highlighted. Those annoying additional spaces will no longer be included in your copies and pastes.

10. Undo about:config Customizations

Did you mess something up inside your about:config page? Want to undo a custom change but don’t remember the original value? You can reset any about:config customization by visiting the about:config page and right clicking on any setting inside that page. Choose the “reset” option and the setting for that line will go back to the factory default.


Internet Explorer 9 features walkthrough

Year 2011 saw a web browser revolution as almost all the web browsers had a major release. Thanks to html5 and CSS3. As the web standard saw a big overhaul, it was necessary for the software houses like Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla to give facelift to their web browsers. And now as a result we have access to better browsers like Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 and Opera 11. We have already covered the features of Firefox 4 on the release date and IE 9 though released few days earlier to it, we are covering the feature walk through of Internet Explorer 9 now. It shows our love for Firefox but I would like to say that Internet Explorer looks equally competitive in it’s new avatar as Internet Explorer 9. After I tested the features myself for this post, at the end of it I started loving Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer 9 has seen major improvement in most of the aspects then the predecessors. Let’s have a look at the enormous amount of new features and improvement Internet Explorer 9 currently sports:


Microsoft claims Internet Explorer 9 to be the fastest browser. But not sure if it is fastest among all other versions of Internet Explorer or fastest among all the available browsers :). Whatever be it speed is definitely a noticeable improvement in IE 9. Internet Explorer 9 takes full advantage of both the operating system and hardware to fully accelerate rendering of web pages. IE 9 leverages the power of the GPU through the DirectX®, Direct2D® and DirectWrite® API’s to ensure that text is crisp, graphics and animations are smooth. New GPU powered HTML5 enables stunning HD video and audio content without the need for a plug-in.

IE 9 uses a brand new JavaScript engine called Chakra. It is optimized to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores running on Windows Vista and Windows 7 by compiling the JavaScript to highly efficient machine code in the background, while interpreting the JavaScript in the foreground. Once compilation is finished, Chakra switches to the compiled and significantly faster machine code optimized for that PC.   Internet Explorer 9 scores very well in popular JavaScript benchmarks like WebKit’s SunSpider.

HTML 5 canvas support:

Canvas is a way to program graphics on the web. Ths standard has been included with html5. The canvas tag is an “immediate mode” (drawing commands are immediately applied) two-dimensional drawing surface that web developers can use to deliver things like real-time graphs, animations, or interactive games without requiring a separate plug-in to be downloaded. IE 9 has full support for this canvas.

Better User Interface:

IE 9 sports a clean and clutter free user Interface. In Internet Explorer 9, the simplified yet enhanced user interface and user experience puts the focus on the content of each website. By default, only the controls essential for browsing are in the browser frame and less screen real estate is used compared to other current browsers, letting people browse and experience all that the sites have to offer.

Characteristics of each website are reflected throughout the experience, allowing users to focus on and be more immersed in the site’s content. Elements of each website are integrated into the browser. If a site is pinned to the task bar, when the site is launched, the navigational controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color.

New Tab page:

IE 9 uses Windows Direct User Interface (DUI) to create a graphical new tab page that loads quickly and features crisp graphics. When users create a new tab, their intent is to navigate. Internet Explorer 9 focuses on making this experience fast by visually suggesting the sites you visit frequently. Each site is represented by a tile with a large favicon and a title, and users can track their browsing habits with a meter on each tile. From the new tab page, users can also reopen closed tabs, reopen their last browsing session, and start an InPrivate Browsing session.

Optimized Navigation Controls:

IE 9 uses a simplified navigation control. As modern websites include much of the functionality that browsers had in the past, the new browser frame emphasizes the controls that are necessary for browsing, with customizations available to show more controls. The back button in IE 9 is made far larger then any other previous version, because, it is the most used item and it has been placed at the top left. The address bar and search box are combined into one and now called One Box, and the Tools menus are consolidated into a single drop-down menu. Only the functionality necessary for a modern browsing experience is shown.

Pinned Sites:

With Pinned Sites, a user’s favorite websites can be accessed directly from the Windows taskbar without opening the browser. IE 8 introduced Web slices in the Favorites Bar. Because users wanted their sites still more readily available, IE 9 introduced Pinned Sites. With pinned sites you can bring your favorite sites into the Windows taskbar to make access even more efficient. You can pin sites to the taskbar by dragging the thumb pin icon  from One Box to the taskbar. When a pinned site is launched from the taskbar, the browser frame and navigational controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color, emphasizing the site and providing an even more site-focused experience.

Tear off Tab:

If you drag a tab away from the page, the tab will open a new instant of Internet Explorer Window.

Jumplists and Thumbnail Preview:

Jump Lists take users right into the websites they use every day. They’re a quick and easy to way to visit frequently visited websites without first opening Internet Explorer. For example, a user may frequent a particular online bookstore and may always start with her wishlist.To open the Internet Explorer 9 Jump List, users can right-click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar. They’ll see their pinned websites, as well as the sites that they visit often. There’s also access to start InPrivate Browsing, open new tabs, or close a window.

Any website that’s pinned to the taskbar also has a Jump List. What’s seen in each of these Jump Lists depends on each website, but all of them include InPrivate Browsing, opening the site, unpinning the site, and closing the window.

Thumbnail preview controls available on the Windows 7 taskbar provide quick navigation to the sites that users want to visit. Some websites that are pinned to the taskbar have additional controls. When a user hovers over a thumbnail for a website in the taskbar, they may see things like playback controls, similar to the controls in Windows 7 for Windows Media Player.

Notification Bar:

Notification bar in IE 9 has been moved to bottom of the browser. Messages in the Notification Bar are clearer and do a better job explaining to the user what they need to know. For example, instead of receiving the message “Internet Explorer is not responding,” the user receives the message “The website is not responding”.

Download Manager:

IE 9 incorporates an integrated integrated Download Manager to provide hassle free downloading and great security for downloaded content. The new Download Manager replaces the Run, Save As, or Cancel box used in earlier versions of Internet Explorer. With the new user interface, users can easily view download progress, open content that they’ve downloaded, Pause and Resume file download or cancel a download that is in progress. A default folder is used for all downloaded content, so users can also change the default download destination folder. As a security measure, all downloads are now scanned for virus and downloads of executable are verified for reliable source using WinVerifyTrust.

Domain Highlighting:

When displaying the current URL in the One Box, IE 9 highlights the domain name in black, while the rest of the URL is shown in grey. This makes it easier to identify the actual identity of the sites that users visit and helps to alert users about deceptive websites with misleading addresses. This can reduce the chances of compromising personal information while browsing and definitely curb the phising sites.

The features mentioned above are some of the noticeable and much talked about features you will see in IE 9. We have prepared a Power Point Presentation IE 9 features explained with great screenshots and explanation of all features in more detail. You can download the IE 9 features presentation .

Browsers Internet Product release Tech News

Firefox 4 Release date and Features walkthrough

An Update to the post has been provided at the bottom. Mozilla took down the ftp download link.

Finally the wait is going to be over in a couple of hours when the much awaited Firefox 4.0 will be released on 22nd March 2011. All thanks to Microsoft for releasing IE 9. The war of the browser has intensified. As IE 9 has been released last week and people are quite gung-ho about the new Internet explorer, Mozilla could not have delayed the release of the final version of Firefox 4. So the decision came at the right time.

The Release Candidate (RC) version of a program can be regarded as the final version when functionality or design is concerned. So the final version of Firefox 4 will sport the same look and offer same functionality as the RC version. So let’s have a quick look at the features and improvements we are going to see in Firefox 4.

– User Interface

> Menu Bar

The menu bar is by default hidden in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This is to give it a more consistent look with the User Interface of the OS. Instead of the menu bar you can see a new Firefox button in orange color at the top left corner. (It mimics the Opera).

> Tabs

The tab position has been moved to the top of the Window. This is to give more visual priority to the tabs. But while switching to Firefox 4, you might feel it bit awkward especially if you are regular Firefox user. After I switched to Firefox 4, I have looked for the tabs in it’s old location because of the habit :).

Firefox Panorama is another improvements which organizes tabs into groups and lets you perform various operations on tab groups.

Switch to Tabs is another feature in Firefox 4 which lets you switch to an already opened tab when you type the same website name.

App Tab feature in Firefox 4 lets you keep the always open sites like Web Mail, Facebook etc a permanent position on the browser. So you do not need to have a separate tab for those. Just right click on the opened Tab and Select Make into App Tab and you are done.

> Stop/Refresh/Go button

The stop, Refresh and Go button has been combined into one and placed at the right of address bar. The buttons appearance changes dynamically depending upon the page status.

Overall the improvement is user Interface gives Firefox a much need look and removes lot of clutter present in older versions.

– Firefox Sync:

The Firefox Sync is an Add-on released for earlier version of Firefox. But With Firefox 4 this feature is built-in. Firefox Sync helps in  synchronizing bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, preferences  and last 25 opened tabs across multiple computers. The user data are synced to Mozilla seever and kept there in an encrypted format and it is synced to PCs you use.

– New Add-on Manager

Firefox 4 sports a brand new Add-on manager window. This new Add-on manager gives an easier way to manage Addons and personalizing the browsing. The new add-on manager has 4 categories viz. get Add-ons, Extensions, Appearance and Plugins.

Apart from the above visual changes, there are a lot of changes as given below in the core as well as security improvements in Firefox 4 which undoubtedly makes Firefox the best browser.

– Complete CSS3 and HTML 5 support

– Supports WebM video standard so you can watch HD quality video and 3D graphics support through Web GL.

– Integrate Multi Touch support for Windows 7.

– Support for different platform like Windows, mac and Linux.

– Improved security through HSTS (Http Strict Transport Security)

– Firefox 4 is the fastest browser in handling JavaScript, thanks to JagerMonkey JavaScript engine.


The Firefox RC download link is available at the Mozilla Firefox web page. However it says it is the RC 2 release and the file name is Firefox Setup 4.0 RC2.exe however the FTP location of Mozilla gives this file Firefox Setup 4.0.exe

When I installed the file from FTP location it still says Mozilla Firefox 4 like the RC version when you click on Help > About. It may happen that Mozilla has already kept the final version in the ftp as they are getting ready for the release.


After many bloggers published the news of the presence of final version of Firefox 4.0  in Mozilla FTP repository, they have taken down the download link and now the link says “Page Cannot be displayed”. I noticed this at IST 2.40AM.


The link has not actually been taken down, but gives a permission denied error when tryng to downlaod drectly. SO go to the following link and right click on Firefox Setup 4.0.exe and selct Save link as