Miskatonic University Press

Firefox privacy extensions


UPDATE (24 June 2015): See Firefox privacy—updated for improvements.

I noticed yesterday that the RequestPolicy Firefox extension wasn’t working because it’s not being developed any more. There’s a replacement in the works but it didn’t look done enough, so I didn’t install it. I did install a couple of other extensions, which I organized in alphabetical order on the right-hand side of the location bar:

Firefox privacy extension icons

They are, in order:

Is there anything else I should use?

I’m still being tracked a lot, even though I deny all third-party cookies and most site-specific cookies. With Lightbeam I can block everything from fonts.googleapis.com and optimizely.com and other places that do nothing useful for me.

With good sites, nothing suffers, or when something breaks I don’t care about it. With some sites I need to fire up another browser and allow everything just to achieve some minor goal like buying a ticket. I suffer that now, but maybe I’ll change my mind.

I’m trying to use Tor more often for browsing sites where I don’t have an account.

Sometimes I look at how other people use the web, and I’m appalled at how awful the experience is, with everything filled with ads (which they can see) and cookies and tracking (which they can’t). On the other hand, there’s how Richard Stallman does things:

I am careful in how I use the Internet.

I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine, aside from a few sites I have some special relationship with. I usually fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program (see git://git.gnu.org/womb/hacks.git) that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me. Then I look at them using a web browser, unless it is easy to see the text in the HTML page directly. I usually try lynx first, then a graphical browser if the page needs it (using konqueror, which won’t fetch from other sites in such a situation).

I occasionally also browse using IceCat via Tor. I think that is enough to prevent my browsing from being connected with me, since I don’t identify myself to the sites I visit.

I’m somewhere in the wide middle.