Tuesday, March 3, 2009

9 Firefox addons to cover your dirty browsing tracks

Say you are browsing, ahem, stuff on the Internet that you aren’t supposed to see and somebody walks into the room. We have discussed this scenario before and provided you with 10 different boss-keys to choose from - programs that hide any open windows with the hit of a key. Also recall the previously mentioned Ghostzilla that let your browse from within any application and hide it in a flash. But lets talk about Firefox in particular and what it’s numerous addons has to offer.

1. TabRenamizer is a Firefox extension that is useful in cases when the person walking into the room isn’t too intrusive. He or she just glances at the titles of the opened tab on your screen and walks away. TabRenamizer allows you to get away by disguising the tab names. With a quick keyboard shortcut you can change the tab titles to a random one selected from a predefined set. The set of titles that you wish to display when you activate this addon can be created and customized at leisure from the addon’s settings window. You can also activate it from the tools menu but the hotkey is faster. But remember that the page doesn’t change, only the tab titles does.

tabrenamizer

2. Page Title Eraser is a similar addon that lets you hide the title of the tabs, but this one is odd. It can hide the title of only the active tab. It’s pretty useless if you have several tabs open that you want to hide. Also the shortcut combination is ridiculously long (Shift+Alt+Ctrl+H) and cannot be changed.

page-title-eraser

3. hideBad extension quickly saves the current browsing session, closes it and opens the default homepage with a hotkey. It also clears the browser’s history, cache, search entries and other stuff.

hidebar

4. Panic Button is for situations when you need to panic – you need to hide all open browser windows because you aren’t supposed to be browsing the net at all and getting caught in the act can lead to dire consequences. With Panic Button installed, a single click of on a toolbar button or a keyboard shortcut will quickly hide, minimize or altogether quit all Firefox windows. When you choose the Hide option, you can recover the session by clicking a button on the Restore Session toolbar. But of course, you can recover the session automatically when you quit the browser too.

panic-button  panic-button (1)

5. Panic is similar to Panic Button but instead of closing all tabs or the whole browser which looks suspicious, it closes the opened tabs and then opens another tab with a page you choose. This looks like as if you were browsing a different site and not just staring at the blank desktop.

panic

6. Distrust creates a silent browsing session during which it monitors all activities in Firefox, picks up all surfing trail that you leave behind, and then flushes them out when the Distrust session is turned off. All history items and cached pages during this session is removed from the browser and leave the computer as it was before the browsing session began. (Original post)

distrust

Firefox3 users, download the latest version from here since the Mozilla page is still not updated.

7. stealther Stealther is another extension that does pretty much the same thing Distrust does. On activation Stealther will temporarily disable the following:
- Browsing History (also in Address bar)
- Cookies
- Downloaded Files History
- Disk Cache
- Saved Form Information
- Sending of ReferrerHeader
- Recently Closed Tabs list

8. Close'n forget has even better stealth properties. When you visit a page and want to remove it’s tracks from the history simply use a special close button that this addon installs on the toolbar instead of the regular close tab button. Doing so will close the active tab and with it wipe out all cookies from the domain of the closed page. The number of deleted cookies is briefly displayed in the status bar. You can choose whether you want to delete all cookies under the domain or only the cookies for that particular page.

close-n-forget

The difference between Close'n forget and Distrust and Stealther is that for the latter two you need to activate the addon before you start the private browsing session, while Close'n forget allows you to remove the history after you leave the page which is useful if you just happen to stumble upon an objectionable page without intending to and need to delete it from history.

9. HistoryBlock works differently. It allows you to create a list of sites that you want to be blocked from history. If you have a couple of sites that you visit regularly then you can use HistoryBlock to permanently prevent those sites from getting into the history records no matter when and how many times you visit it.

history-block

And don’t forget to checkout Pornzilla.

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