Blocking bad sites and annoyances
This article describes blocking unwanted sites and annoyances within sites.
Adblock Plus extension
Suppose you find a site particularly annoying
You can block the site yourself with the "Adblock Plus" (ADP) extension with your own filters for instance:
Neither site is blocked by the subscription filters "EasyList USA" nor "Fanboy's List". Adblock Plus will do nothing without filters and a subscription or two is easily added after installing ADP. The extension is large but well worth having on your main or only Firefox profile.
A nice feature of Adblock Plus filters is that each subscription, and your own additions are maintained separately. Another is that you can bring up a "blockable items" report to see what can be blocked as well as what is blocked, and you can see the specific filter that is blocking an item as well as the source or subscription group. Suggest sorting on the "State" column so blocked items appear at the top. You can change options, disable/re-enable from the toolbar ADP icon.
You can use an extension such as "WOT" (Web of Trust) to warn you of a bad site, it is based on user experience and often just what people seem to think a site is about based on the name, the ratings are inconsistent. The extension will block access to sites deemed bad, but you can override the warning.
- http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/mylife.com (sample report)
"McAfee Site SiteAdvisor" system is better it is based on analysis of site tracking with virtual machines, every link to see what happens. Both WOT and SiteAdvisor extensions place warning symbols on Google search results, but SiteAdvisor is not working well with Firefox, and their extension is not on addons.mozilla.com so the code is not subject to review by Mozilla. You can however get a site report
- http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/mylife.com (affiliations look good, but community reviews look bad)
Get a site report for a specified site
A keyword shortcut is a bookmark with a keyword and may include substitution.
Name: site: SiteAdvisor Lookup (Web Safety Ratings)
Description: type site: into the location bar followed by site, for example -- site: ibm.com
You might use two keyword bookmarks as above one as "site:" the other as "siteadvisor", and create a similar bookmark for WOT as "wot:".
Firefox builtin protection
Firefox has a reporting system for reporting Web Forgeries (Phishing) under the HELP menu.
Tools > Options > Privacy
Known attack sites can be blocked here, uses information reported to Firefox and to Google.
[x] Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
[x] Block reported attack sites
[x] Block reported web forgeries
Having a good hosts file on your system can protect your entire system cross-application and all browsers and all your Firefox profiles against a lot of malware sites or extreme annoyances within sites frequented by a lot of people. See Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File.
More information: on extensions and items mentioned in this article
- Adblock Plus :: Add-ons for Firefox and Writing Adblock Plus filters
- McAfee SiteAdvisor Software -- Website Safety Ratings and Secure Search
- Web of Trust - Safe Browsing Tool :: Add-ons for Firefox
- Notes on many extensions including those above
- Google - Highlight harmful site alert - Themes and Skins for www.google - userstyles.org
- Problematic extensions - MozillaZine Knowledge Base (McAfee Site Advisor is listed as problematic)
- Blocking sites
- Popups not blocked
- Reducing memory usage - Firefox
- Removing unwanted content on webpages