NoScript – Making The Web A Safer Place

· Freelance IT

Introducing NoScript & NotScript:
Better Browser Hygiene!

A lot of components go into playing safe on the web.

Things like using a router or hardware firewall, using a high quality antivirus (I suggest Avast), maintaining file backups (check out Mozy & Dropbox), insisting on SSL connections, selecting a safer browser….

… and then beefing up the browser’s security…

One of the ways we can better fortify our browsers (beyond the HTTPsEverywhere add-on (have to enable the setting in the add-on for Facebook, that I mentioned in a prior post) is through another add-on called NoScript (Firefox)/ NotScripts (Chrome).

These two extensions – one for each of the major browsers – are unrelated but serve a very similar function.

These addons/extensions “extend” the browsers functionality and disable all javascript (aka “scripts”) running on any site until you say it’s okay.

With the rapid increasing threat of attacks such as cross-site scripting, where you don’t even have to CLICK on anything to pick up malware, extensions like these are becoming a much needed first line of defense.

Here’s a brief introduction, courtesy of CNET:

As you can see this type of protection is huge… and not a default behavior of the browser.

It’s only fair however to say that like most hygiene, NoScript can at times be annoying to need to selectively enable what we wish to and not be temped to just enable all.

Many people get sloppy and after a few days just hit the global allow button and are right back to square one. Don’t be one of those people!

If you use your computer for business – that means that time spent fighting an infection, hacking or malware costs you money. It’s far more practical to be judicious in your use of preventative measures (just like other forms of hygiene) than it is to pay the big ugly price that comes from not protecting yourself.

One perk is that if you’re being plagued with the “unresponsive script” issues that are running pretty rampant lately mostly due to flash components, just leaving those scripts disabled will at least allow you to get around the web without crashing the browser.

What practical tips for staying safe on the web have you found to be effective?  Have a tip I didn’t mention? Check out NoScript/NotScripts and let me know what you think!

I look forward to reading your comments below and thanks in advance for sharing it with others you think it might help!


PS: To use javascript based “bookmarklets” such as “onlywire” and “buffer” use, you will need to specifically add their URLs to the XSS (cross-site scripting) allowed setting.
In NoScript Options -> Advanced Tab -> XSS tab add these two lines:

Read more: NoScript – Making The Web A Safer Place

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