Top 5 Firefox Add-Ons

Screenshot 1. Searching for ice cream. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 1. Searching for ice cream. Source: Mozilla Firefox

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Screenshot 2. Little Guy at his Computer. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 2. Little Guy at his Computer. Source: Mozilla Firefox

First and foremost, I like to feel safe on the internet. Most of the add-ons I use increase my online security. My online experience is also improved by addons that block ads. My favorite add-ons include:

  • Do Not Track Me
  • Web Of Trust (WOT)
  • LastPass
  • Adblock Plus and
  • Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus.

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Screenshot 3. Expand your Options with Addons. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 3. Expand your Options with Addons. Source: Mozilla Firefox

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Screenshot 4. Block tracking online. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 4. Block tracking online. Source: Mozilla Firefox

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Screenshot 5. Download addons that give you more privacy online. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 5. Download addons that give you more privacy online. Source: Mozilla Firefox

Keep From Being Tracked

A key activity of companies and social networks is tracking your surfing history. Do Not Track Me is one of Firefox's add-ons that blocks that activity. To check out and to add this add-on:

  • Click on the drop-down arrow on the orange Firefox rectangle in upper left of browser screen.
  • Click on Add-ons (see screenshot 3).
  • The Add-ons Manager opens
  • Click on "Get Add-ons" in the upper left of the screen.
  • In the search field in the upper right of the screen, type in "do not track."
  • If the DoNotTrackMe add-on does not show in the list, click on "See all ## results" at the bottom of the screen.
  • The DoNotTrackMe add-on screen (see screenshot 4) comes up, you can explore the creator's site (see screenshot 5), the available options, and the reviews. A high download number is also a good sign.
  • If you decide to add DoNotTrackMe, click on the green button..
  • You may need to restart for the add-on to start working. If you do restart, all of your open tabs will remain open.
  • An icon will appear in the upper right-hand side of your toolbar or menu bar. While surfing, you can click the icon to see how many companies have been blocked from tracking you on that particular site.

You're not prevented from activating your social networks, when you want to. Just click on the icons or words for the network twice to activate them.

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Screenshot 6. How Web Of Trust rates websites. Source: Web Of Trust
Screenshot 6. How Web Of Trust rates websites. Source: Web Of Trust

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Screenshot 7. See which links are safe. Source: Web Of Trust
Screenshot 7. See which links are safe. Source: Web Of Trust

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Screenshot 8. Avoid dangerous sites. Source: Web Of Trust
Screenshot 8. Avoid dangerous sites. Source: Web Of Trust

Web Of Trust (WOT)

The Web Of Trust (WOT) addon shows you ratings of the sites that you visit. To explore and possibly take advantage of this addon:

  • Click on the drop-down arrow on the orange Firefox rectangle in upper left of screen.
  • Click on Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager opens (skip this step if Add-ons Manager is already open).
  • In the search field in the upper right of the screen, type in "web of trust."
  • If the add-on does not appear in the list, at the bottom of the screen, click on "See all ## results."
  • The Web Of Trust add-on screen comes up, you can explore the creator's site, the available options, and the reviews. A high download number is also a good sign.
  • If you decide to add Web Of Trust, click on the green button.
    You may need to restart for the add-on to start working. If you do restart, all of your open tabs will remain open.

An round icon will appear on your toolbar or menu bar, showing the safety of the site. As you browse, you'll see the Web Of Trust icon circle change color (see screenshot 6).

  • Green = Good or Excellent.
  • Yellow = Okay.
  • Red = Dangerous.
  • Gray with question mark = No information on this site is available.

The criteria on which a site is judged include four components:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Vendor reliability
  • Privacy
  • Child safety

As you surf, you can glance at the icon to see the ratings. The longer you have the Web Of Trust add-on, the more natural it will become to check the safety of sites.

Another feature of the WOT add-on is that, when you are running a search and go to the results screen, a good many of the results are marked with rating circles, letting you know which of the sites have a WOT good/excellent rating (see screenshot 7).

In addition, any links that appear in emails that you receive will be marked with a circle rating, letting you know what links are safe to click on.

If by chance you happen upon a site that is dangerous, a full screen will cover it. This screen will say something to the effect that this is a very hazardous site and you should leave as soon as you can (see screenshot 8).

You can join the Web Of Trust and input your own ratings for a site. You may want to do this for your own websites, as well as for sites that you think have incorrect or no WOT ratings.

This add-on is also available on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.

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Screenshot 9. Browse without any annoying ads. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 9. Browse without any annoying ads. Source: Mozilla Firefox

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Screenshot 10. Annoying ads vanish. Source: Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 10. Annoying ads vanish. Source: Mozilla Firefox

Blocking Ads

Online ads can be quite annoying at times. An add-on that I have found effective in banishing almost all ads (advertising videos can sneak through) is Adblock Plus, along with its Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus add-on. The process of adding these addons is virtually the same as the ones cited above:

  • Click on the drop-down arrow on the orange Firefox rectangle in upper left of screen.
  • Click on Add-ons.
  • The Add-ons Manager opens. In the search field in the upper right of the screen, type in "Adblock Plus."
  • If the Adblock Plus and Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus addons don't appear in the list, click on "See all ## results." at the bottom of the screen.
  • The Adblock Plus and Element Hiding Helper for Adblock screen comes up (see screenshots 9 and 10), you can explore the creator's site, the available options, and the reviews. A high download number is also a good sign.
  • If you decide to add Adblock Plus and Element Hiding Helper for Adblock, click on the green button.
  • You may need to restart for the add-on to start working. If you do restart, all of your open tabs will remain open.
  • An icon will appear in your toolbar or menu bar.

You will now be able to surf the web without seeing any ads.

Fun With Firefox

Creating Secure Passwords With LastPass

LastPass generates 12 letter/number combinations for you to use as passwords. No longer do you need to wrack your brain to come up with tricky passwords.

It's best to keep a list of your username/email address and password for each of your online accounts. You can add to this list the answers to security questions that may be posed by websites that require greater security, such as financial institutions and government agencies.

LastPass enables you to easily have an individual password for every site where you have an account. If by chance one of your accounts is hacked, you need not worry about the rest of your accounts being equally vulnerable. Clearly, one-website passwords make you less vulnerable to hackers.

You can set LastPass to automatically log you into websites. This is a great time-saver, because you don't have to look up each password.

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Screenshot 11. The Add-ons home page. The red arrow shows where to click to see all Themes. Source Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 11. The Add-ons home page. The red arrow shows where to click to see all Themes. Source Mozilla Firefox

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Screenshot 12. Firefox themes add flair. Source Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 12. Firefox themes add flair. Source Mozilla Firefox

Add An Aesthetic Touch With Themes

Themes add an artistic touch to your browser. In some cases, the theme shows above and below your browser page. For instance, I have the Flowers In Forest theme. So I see trees, leaves, and flowers above and below my browser page. Since I love nature, my theme relaxes my eyes.

You'll find Themes in the lower right-hand corner of Firefox's Addons home page (see screenshot 11).

When you get to the Themes home page (see screenshot 12), you find that you can select from over 300,000 designs. There are categories on the left-hand side of the page, as well as at the bottom of the page. Another place you can start is with the most popular themes (see screenshot 13).

As a nature lover, one of my favorites is the "Two Little Birds" (see screenshot 14).

It's a bit like being in an art gallery. So have fun browsing to find the Theme that appeals to you the most. And remember that you can change Themes any time you want.

Most Popular Themes

Screenshot 13. Firefox themes -- Wild and electric or subtle and reflective. Find the theme that fits your personality. Source Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 13. Firefox themes -- Wild and electric or subtle and reflective. Find the theme that fits your personality. Source Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 14. A theme I love -- sweet little blue and yellow birds seem to be friends. Source Mozilla Firefox
Screenshot 14. A theme I love -- sweet little blue and yellow birds seem to be friends. Source Mozilla Firefox

Would you be safer?

Do you feel that you would be safer with one or more of these Firefox add-ons?

See results without voting
Keep calm and browse on more securely with these Firefox add-ons. Copyright Marian Cates.
Keep calm and browse on more securely with these Firefox add-ons. Copyright Marian Cates. | Source

A Safer Browsing Experience

If you spend time online, shopping, working, studying, researching, then these add-ons will improve your browsing experience.

  • The Do Not Track Me add-on keeps companies and social media networks from tracking you.
  • The Adblock Plus and Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus add-ons spare you from a constant barrage of online advertising.
  • The Web Of Trust add-on shows you what sites and links have been explored by them and found to be safe. Plus, they will show you how to get a good rating for your own sites.
  • The LastPass add-on provides you with complex one-site passwords and can automatically log you into many sites.
  • Firefox Themes add an artistic touch that expresses your personality. There are literally thousands to choose from. If you have the expertise, you can even create your own and share it with other Firefox users.

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Comments 5 comments

Marian Designs profile image

Marian Designs 8 months ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for you comment, Suzanne Day!


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 15 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Certainly worth a try to me!


Marian Designs profile image

Marian Designs 20 months ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Did you try clearing the cache in Firefox?


Marian Designs profile image

Marian Designs 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Blackandgoldjack--Did you have a lot of Firefox addons? As I'm sure you know, addons can slow down your browser, some addons more than others. Also, did you have it set to "Clear history when Firefox closes"?

Marian


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 3 years ago from Blitzburgh area

Firefox has been my favorite browser for years. About a week ago Firefox began loading very slowly. I know it's not my computer because it's doing the same thing on both my laptops. I gave up on it and started using Google.

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    Marian Designs profile image

    Marian Cates (Marian Designs)31 Followers
    4 Articles

    I'm an artist, designer, photographer and writer. I have a B.A. in Theater and an M.A. in Writing, both from Hollins University.



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