Extensions I have to have

I’ll admit that I freaked out a bit last week with a flurry of stories about how we should be concerned about the Addons that we install in Firefox.

Popular Firefox Add-Ons Vulnerable to Cross-Extension Exploit

There were lots of stories about the report and some content from Mozilla about their plans for the future with Project Tofino.  It was a little disconcerting to me because I’m a big fan and long-time user of Firefox.  I find that it works nicely in a 4GB computer unlike some of the other browsers that are constantly in search of more memory and, finding none, use the hard drive instead.  Of course, we know what that means in terms of browsing performance.  I’m also a big fan of Add-ons or extensions to give my browser more functionality.  It’s quite a task since I typically have four or five browsers installed on the computer and I want the same tools available to all.

Probably, it was Add-ons that drove me to use Firefox in the first place.  Sure, you can use other installed programs on your computer but there’s something so great about having everything that you need right there in your browser.  The Add-ons in the report did make me pause for a second.  I only have one of the “top 10” installed but perhaps the ones that I use didn’t make the list and yet still have the problem?

I’ve also seen a lot of “Chicken Little” messages in the past so that affected some of my thinking too.  But, I will also confess to being an Add-on hoarder and only do a bit of house cleaning when I’m bored or just wonder why there’s no room left in the URL window for the website I’m visiting!

The other thing that got me thinking about this was the interview that I did for Royan last week where he talked about Workflow.  Since so much that I do these days is in a browser, that is where my workflow is, I guess.  Call me lazy – I prefer to think of myself as productive – I like it all at my fingertips.  In my readings about this, I found a great piece of advice – think through what Add-ons that you absolutely have to have to minimize your risk.

I’m also poking around with the new Vivaldi browser and a new browser is also an opportunity to start over.  I’m using that bit of advice to avoid Extension bloat.  (Well, at least for a little while)

As a result, here are the Add-ons that I have to have.

ScribeFire is my blogging tool.  I’d be lost without it.
   Shareaholic is a great curating tool.  Instead of having a tool for every service, they’re all here
  LastPass is the password manager that I use to keep track of things.  The best part isn’t necessarily using it to remember passwords – it’s to generate really long involved passwords for use in the first place.
  Google Keep – note to self.  How often am I just tooling around and need to make a note?  The nice thing is that I might actually be on my phone when I get the need.  Keep does the job.  I guess, technically, it’s an app and not an extension.  Regardless, I find it invaluable.
  Ghostery – it only takes a few minutes after you install Ghostery and are curious about the purple message box to realize that you’re not alone when on the web.  Ghostery helps private things private.
  Grammarly is my way to try and ensure that this blog is readable.  I know that my editorial team may say otherwise, but I do try.
  Diigo is my little curated corner of the web.  I’ve mentioned before that I use it as my personal search engine – my logic being that if I found it and bookmarked it, I’ve already found it useful.  Why start with a fresh start every time?
Feedly is my current RSS reader.  I still think that RSS is done with magic.
 Selection_716 OneTab – in addition to collecting Add-ons and extensions, I collect tabs.  This cleans things up nicely!
uBlock Origin – When you have a really slow internet connection, anything you can do to speed it up is good.  Blocking advertisements does it for me.
Web Of Trust – One final and very valuable Extension – Red, Yellow, Green lights advise on the safety of the website being visited.

I’m kind of pleased that I’m able to keep the list this small.  I often read the top 10 lists of “must have” Add-ons or extensions and some look interesting but I’m not sure that I’d use them regularly so it begs the question “Why install them at all?”

Anyway, this is what I’m running in this instance of Vivaldi.  Comments?  Have I missed a better one?  Do you question my choices?  I’d be interested in your thoughts.  Leave a comment.


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