The top Firefox security and privacy add-ons

Becky waring By Becky Waring

Stay safe and protect your privacy when you’re on the Web by using these top-notch browser extensions.

Block malicious Web sites, stop annoying ads, control your cookies, cover your tracks, and manage your passwords securely with this collection of free Firefox add-ons.

It’s time to update your Firefox extensions

When you upgrade to Firefox 3, you also have to update or reinstall the browser’s add-ons. The most popular extensions — including the ones I recommended here — now work with Firefox 3 and can easily be installed right within Firefox using the browser’s Add-ons manager (on the Tools menu).

In this column, I review the best Firefox security and privacy add-ons. In the coming weeks, I’ll tackle bookmark and tab managers, Google enhancements, user-agent switchers, and other organizational tools designed specifically for Firefox.

If there’s a particular category of Firefox extension that you’d like me to cover, drop me a line via the contact page.

Three must-have add-ons for safe surfing

If you’re concerned about phishing sites, spyware, viruses, fraudulent online stores, or child safety, you need WOT (Web of Trust). This unobtrusive yet amazingly useful extension shows a rating icon next to each site in search results from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and other popular Web services. The rating is easy to interpret, so you can see instantly which links in the results are safe to click.

WOT also places an icon next to the address bar, so you can check the rating of your current page in case you didn’t get there via a search engine.

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Becky Waring

About Becky Waring

Becky Waring has worked as a writer and editor for CNET, ZDNET, Technology Review, Upside Magazine, and many other news sources. She alternates the Best Software column with Windows Secrets contributing editor Scott Spanbauer.