Privacy and security are always been the worry for internet users. Internet is an open arena with many hackers is trying to lurking into yours computer to steal vital data and online privacy. Modern web browsers have the ability to manage user privacy concern through various means, users should learnt these and try to accommodate and implement in their browsing behavioural patterns. Firefox is my favourite browser because of many valid reasons. It gives me the authority to manage these security and privacy concerns through various capable and well attained add ons. In this write up I will summarise about some of important add on so that users will know about it and will get the choices so that they could provide and safeguard their security concerns through various available Firefox add on.
Super cookie safeguard �BetterPrivacy�:
It is one of featured add on of Firefox. It works seamlessly and silently. It protects unique long standing cookies on your computer known as super cookies. These super cookies meant to track for organisation research, marketing trend, user generated content and other online activities. In this way it poses the greater risk of privacy concerns and the flash cookies of super cookie is more dangerous as it can use your bandwidth to fetch the concerned flash content and also it can go through yours privacy parameters. In short super cookies are hidden and never expiring object inside your computer and since the date modern web browsers does not have specific function to stop this super cookie to work from yours computer. With �BetterPrivacy� you can remove all these objects at browser start and exist, you can manage, edit and white list and black list these objects. It is a install and forget add on , it works in back ground. It has no negative bear on yours browsing. It has automatic deletion function, schedule deletion, and manual deletion option for flash cookies. This add on is self sufficient.
These super cookies or flash cookies are locally shared objects or popularly known as �LSO� which can install some file or information through flash objects. Usual cookies took four kilobytes of memory in yours computer, super cookie or flash cookie takes one hundred kilobytes of memory in yours computer. Flash cookies store highly secretive personal and technical information such as yours browser version, computer name and operating system, your internet protocol address etc. Generally it is very difficult to track the sites which are installing the flash cookies in ours system through web browser. Even modern web browser does not have functionality to manage and block these super cookies. There are some ways to block these cookies through flash company but it is cumbersome and worrisome and not friendly for layman. If you have shared folder and remote connection then these flash cookies make it cross browser and thus it poses greater amount of risk to yours privacy and security concern. With �Better Privacy � you can delete all these flash cookie after end of every sessions. As per recent reports to be believed many domains and tracking companies use these sorts of tacking cookies and these can be harmful.
Many a times the cookies sort as games cookies and Yahoo seal data is important for yours identity and security. Generally websites and companies track users so that they can improve the basic service and the customer experience and can take it to maximum possible occurrences. They segment the users to various elements and sub element and then try to match their demand with the specific advertisement. In this way they want to install the super cookie alternatively known as flash cookie and get the relevant information through your browser and then they install the temporary cookies according to their segmentation and division of user needs and specific acceptance. Adobe flash is popular and has been installed in almost ninety five percentages of computers and has been instrumental in popularising online flash videos through various online websites. By using this some web masters and companies has been installing the super cookies to get most out of user internet experience.
Now all the ultra modern browsers and leading web browsers have the option to accept the cookies or reject the cookies through configuration but the fact of the matter is that if you set this setting to manual then you will face lot of irritations while browsing the web and also in this process the web browsing will be slower and irritant and that is why most of users make the acceptance of cookies automatic. Companies called it as the behavioural analysis of users internet activities and thus in this manner they try to lurk in to user�s interaction with their day to day online activities. Some companies are saying that they are using these behavioural trends to deliver the targeted user specific advertisements so that user can get the specific and related advertisement to its needs. This explanation is not full proof as it can alter some of the basic rights of the user relating to data privacy and other related issues.
Local shared objects have the data that contains about individual websites. In the default settings of the flash player it is accepting the flash cookies which is otherwise known as super cookies which stays inside the computer for the longer time and then try to gather then user internet trends and send the information to its company so that they can employ it get the behavioural aspects of the users so that they can fill in the specific demands of the users when and how it is needed and this way they think they are serving the user demand and the needs in the fullest possible capacities. User can disable the LSO in the global storage settings panels http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html and in this way by going to the online setting manager of the Adobe site you can disable the super cookies functionality form there. Adobe will place a permanent flash cookie on yours computer and that will inform all other companies that the user did not want to install any sort of super cookie in its computer a kind of opt out policy for the user. User may use �better privacy� add on for Firefox to automatically delete the flash cookies on browser exist or alternatively user can employ CCcleaner the standalone offline cleaning utility for computer for manual deletion of flash cookies.
As per online setting adjustment of flash from Adobe, the user setting has been altered with each of Adobe flash updates and this is surprising that each time now you have to alter the online flash setting by going to Adobe site.
When you enable the browser in privacy mode the local shared objects and also persistent cookies known as super cookies deleted automatically when you end the browsing session. In 2009 the reports bring out by the Wired magazine is threatening and it shows how the bigger companies are easily intruding the user�s privacy concern. Nearly half of the top website around the world stores the flash cookies inside the user�s computer and that time it is not well known to the public at large and for this they are doing it consistently and has been using and analysing the user�s internet interactions. The even using the flash cookies to make the hidden back ups and some times due to the extreme demand the user computer over load and hang up and this ahs been going on without user�s valid internet knowledge. More over in certain countries it is not according to the law of the land to track the user without their valid knowledge and acceptance of agreements.
Disabling local shared objects from third-party content:
Reach to the http://helpx.adobe.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html and then reach out to setting manager then deselect the check box that announces �Allow Third-Party Flash Content to Store Information on Your Computer
� then close the setting manager and in this way the flash player remembers the concerned settings of yours adobe flash player . It is better to check the settings of the always deny so that at no times any of the third party cookies will not be accepted through flash player by bridging into yours web browser.
Where to find these flash cookies:
� Windows: LSO files are stored typically with a �.SOL� extension, within each user�s Application Data directory, under MacromediaFlashPlayer#SharedObjects.
Company should not do any sort of covert surveillance on the user , they should not install the so called spyware or any sort of flash cookies on the user computer without their knowledge. Companies should provide clear and lucid information so that hat they are doing and watching to the user activities should not be done in some clandestine manner , it should be done in such a ways so much so that the user also agree with the proviso what the third party website is doping in its social and internet activities. The final word should be with the companies those are indulging into collecting user activities is to show the responsibility for providing the information and obtaining consent.