Firefox Quantum

Firefox just got faster. Two times faster. This past week, Firefox updated to Firefox Quantum (Version 57.0.) There are two versions – one for regular browsers and one for developers. It is built on a new engine for better and faster page loading. It also will use less memory than previously, and they say it is 30% lighter than Chrome.

It has built in privacy modes. You can block even hidden trackers by turning on tracking protection. When you block the ads and scripts that are bogging you down, the page loads even faster.

If there’s a page you want to see later, you can save it to Pocket to view later. There is a library where it will place these articles as well as your bookmarks. You can search with other search engines with just a click. You can also customize it with themes or placement of icons for your tools and addons. You can take screenshots without adding an extension – it’s built right in.

New type of phishing attacks affecting browsers

The Victor crew came across an urgent matter. If your browser is Chrome or Firefox, be aware of a new phishing attack. An attacker can send you an email with a link to a malicious website. You could visit a site that will either infect your computer or make you think you are signing in with your credentials as they trick you into thinking you are accessing the correct site.

The people from Wordfence, a security plugin for WordPress found this last Friday, April 14, 2017. They set up a demo site to show what is happening. It is well worth it to check their article and see if you are affected and what to do. They have set up a demo using a medical site, epic.com, so you can test your browser and browser settings. You can visit their demo site here in Chrome or Firefox. To compare the demo site with the real site they faked for comparison, you can click here to visit the real site here.

This does not affect Windows or Safari browsers. Currently there is a fix for Firefox browsers. Here is what you do:

Open your Firefox browser
Type about:config in the address bar
Search for ‘puny’ (without quotes)
You should see network.IDN_show_punycode set for ‘false’
Double click it to make it ‘true’

Chrome currently does not have a fix for it.

In the News …

The Victor crew found a few interesting articles this week:

For those who wondered why their laptops have gone through their battery so quickly, Microsoft has tested different browsers. With each browser, they browsed Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Amazon. Here’s what they found:
Microsoft Edge lasted 7 hours 22 minutes on Surface Book system
Chrome lasted 4 hours 19 minutes
Firefox lasted 5 hours 9 minutes
Opera battery-saving mode lasted 6 hours 18 minutes.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/microsoft-claims-edge-can-offer-70-percent-better-battery-life-than-chrome/

There’s a new gadget that allows you to play your original Nintendo Gameboy cartridges on your phone. It costs $59 and works on Android phones now. iPhone versions will be out by December. It is made by Hyperkin.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/whats-on/whats-on-news/you-gameboy-new-gadget-helps-11496341

With smart home technology growing leaps and bounds, there are more entry points for hackers to try to get your information. One thing they are now attacking is smart TV sets. Most security options have been focused on computers and smartphones so TVs have been neglected thus far. This article has some steps you can take to help prevent this.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/165859/20160620/how-to-protect-your-smart-tv-from-hackers-here-are-some-tips.htm

Do Not Track

Is “Do Not Track” being turned on in your browser helpful? That is what the Victor Crew wants to find out.

If you use Firefox, you will see under the privacy tab that there is checkbox to “Request that sites not track you”. When you click on Learn more, it will take you to this page: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/dnt/

They qualify it by saying they offer a Do Not Track feature “that lets you express a preference not to be tracked by websites.” They go on to explain that it tells them you want to opt-out of behavioral advertising. This does not block ads, but it may change the type of ads you see. It may affect certain ways you view sites, like maybe the need to enter your zip code on a weather site.
Firefox do not track

In Chrome you can go to Settings and scroll down to click Show advanced settings and find it under Privacy there.
Chrome do not track

In Edge you will go to settings and go to Advanced settings and find it under the Privacy settings there.
Edge do not track

There are many sites that will honor this request, but there are many others that will choose to ignore it. We hardly think they will be honored by the likes of Facebook, Google, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, LinkedIn for some.

The FCC has chosen not to enforce the requests in a major blow to Internet privacy for users in the past week as per a the Consumer Watchdog Petition to require the requests be enforced. http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db1106/DA-15-1266A1.pdf

Extra protection on your computer

The Victor crew found a program you can download to help protect you from exploits. There is a free version and a paid version from Malwarebytes called Malewarebytes Anti-Exploit. Once you download and install it, it will add some layers of protection to your browsers, browser add-ons and Java. The paid version will also shield some Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) and Media Players, and allow you to add and manage custom shields. The paid version costs $24.95/year and will cover 3 PCs.

This is not an anti-virus program, but will give real-time protection against vulnerable sites. It will protect Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and others.

Malwarebytes Anti-exploit

Joe Victor

Passwords and Chrome

If you are using Chrome and haven’t signed out of the browser, and you share your computer or your computer is stolen, then you have shared any passwords you have saved in the browser. Anyone can simply go to chrome://settings/passwords to view the passwords you have saved. There is no other security applied.

Unlike Firefox. You can set a master password that you have to enter before you can see the saved password. This adds a layer in Firefox’s security.

IE encrypts passwords and you can’t easily view them. You can download IE Passview to see them.

The bottom line is, if you share a computer or travel with your laptop, make sure you are logged out of all your browsers and logged out of the operating system. Make sure all user accounts are password protected.

~ Jody Victor