…should a person have when configuring a web browser?
I had a good back and forth with @pbeens about this today. A fresh installation of any web browser comes with certain settings. With a good browser, you can add extensions to do various things to try to maintain your privacy. But how much is too much?
I tried to reach a website today – it was a school website and one of the pages just refused to load with my decked out Google Chrome browser. I fired up Mozilla Firefox and was able to see the desired page with no problem. So, it was noodle scratching time. I went through the process of disabling extensions until I got it to work.
So, I started to think. Just how far do I need to go to try and keep my privacy and stop the web from tracking where I go. (Although, I’ll admit, it’s pretty boring since I tend to hit educational and news sites).
I took a look through my extension to Google Chrome and have the following installed.
AdBlock Plus – Used to block advertisements that are pushed my way. It’s not that I’m adverse to advertising; it’s just that with a slow internet connection, this does help to speed up the browsing process.
Collusion for Chrome – I’m big into visualizations and Collusion illustrates the webbing and connections that are happening as you browse. I find it fascinating.
Do Not Track Me – Plain and simple, it’s designed to stop web sites from tracking where I go.
Ghostery – Blocks and displays a popup to let you know when there’s an element on a web page trying to track you.
KB SSL Enforcer – Forces the website that you’re visiting to use https:// for browser encryption when it’s possible. (This was the extension that had caused my “problem” earlier.
That’s about it. I should also point out that I use
WOT – This displays a crowd sourced traffic light on links to give you a sense as to whether clicking on them will take you to a safe sight or one that those working the web have concerns about.
So, I’ll end with the question that I started with. Is this too much paranoia? I think there can be a danger when you have too many extensions doing too many similar things. What do you think? Any recommendations for what can be removed or replaced with something better?
Powered by Qumana
- Discover Who’s Tracking You Online With Collusion (veracode.com)
- Chrome Beta integrates speech recognition (slashgear.com)
- New Chrome browser beta adds voice recognition API (techworld.com.au)
- 12 Of My Favorite Google Chrome Extensions (digitizd.com)
- Best Productivity Apps for Google Chrome (theapptimes.com)