June 5th, 2007

Remove Firefox Addons, Improve Security

clipped from www.sciencetext.com

Remove Firefox Addons, Improve Security

Using certain Firefox addons, such as the popular Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn addons, could leave your computer open to hackers, according to security expert and Indiana University graduate student in informatics Christopher Soghoian. Thankfully, tools such as NoScript, Greasemonkey, and AdBlock Plus are safe. Problems can arise, says Soghoian, because of the way the likes of the Facebook addon is updated via an external server rather than Firefoxâ™s parent system Mozilla.

  • Google Toolbar and Google Browser Sync
  • Yahoo Toolbar
  • Del.icio.us Extension
  • Facebook Toolbar
  • AOL Toolbar
  • Ask.com Toolbar
  • LinkedIn Browser Toolbar
  • Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar
  • PhishTank SiteChecker
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âœUsers are vulnerable and are at risk of an attacker silently installing malicious software on their computers. This possibility exists whenever the user cannot trust their domain name server (DNS) or network connection. Examples of this include public wireless networks, and users connected to compromised home routers,â says Soghoian on his slight paranoia blogspot.


For artists and designers using Flickr to document and share their work, this development means that their non-photographic images are now second-class citizens. If Flickr goes any further in censoring non-photographic images, it would make Flickr unattractive for sharing anything beyond holiday snaps. I honestly don't understand what they are hoping to gain by this strategy, as non-photographic images don't present any problems unless there is a copyright violation. Nor do I understand why screenshots or CGI images would be unsuitable for a public audience.

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Now, being "reviewed as safe" sounds like good a good thing, so I thought I'd go one step further and mark all my non-photographic images as such. Flickr calls this "moderating your photostream". One of the side effects seems to be that all my non-photographic images are no longer available in public searches. You can observe it by searching for the title "Randbox". It won't show any results, meaning that my RandBox images are now NIPSA'ed. They can still be found via my photostream, but not through searching. Any non-photo images that were in Flickr's Explore are no longer there.