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Browser Security


2007/01/08 Michael Desrosiers

This month's topic is about free browser snap-ins and tools that will make your web browser safer.

Scandoo is a free service from ScanSafe that delivers safer Internet searches. Acting as a virtual search detective, Scandoo adds an icon next to each resulting link so you can tell at a glance whether it leads to a good site, suspect site or a bad site. This site works for Internet Explorer and Firefox.

The scans are done in real-time, right as the search results are being delivered. This means the results are always current and there are no worries about outdated research or missing data that might lead to a wrongly received rating. And since ScanSafe is one of the leaders in web filtering technologies, not only are the scans accurate, there's also no discernible latency in your searches. What you truly get, is an added measure of confidence that the link you click will lead to a site that's safe to visit. This tool is still currently in beta, but scans search results from Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Ask.com.

Check it out at: http://www.scandoo.com.

Another cool snap-in is ShowIP.

ShowIP is a Mozilla Firefox extension which shows the IP Address of the current page in the browser's status bar and allows queries to different databases about it when you right click on it. The IP is colored red for an IPv4 address and green for an IPv6 address. These queries are fully customizable in the settings dialog. Additionally, you can copy the IP address to the clipboard. It also allows querying custom services by IP (right mouse button) and Hostname (left mouse button), like whois or netcraft.

The extension can be downloaded here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/590/

And last but not least, their is CallingID Toolbar. This tool lets you see the owner of the site you are accessing, where it is located and whether it is safe to sending personal information Automatically detects and as you while accessing phishing sites. It verifies safe sites and provides you with a green light to do business with them. The tool also executes 54 verification tests on each page you visit and provides you with a simple easy to understand risk analysis of the domain that you have inquired about. This snap-in works with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

The risks are categorized as follows:

  • "Red" - Indicates that exposing private or confidential information to this site is very risky and may be misused by the site owner. Such risk is a result of a pattern usually utilized by phishers. It may be, for example, masking site owner's identity; using a pirate server in a legitimate site or using a known phishing site.

  • "Yellow" - Reveals that the site has a problem. The user should be aware of the problem and decide whether to take the risk of sending data to such a site. Low risk sites are sites whose owner was not identified as an organization conducting business, sites that were not registered correctly, etc.

  • "Green" - This signals that it is safe to submit information and make purchases at these sites. The site was identified as an organization conducting business located at a real address and passed all of the tests.


CallingID provides you with added value beyond the protection whenever you visit a site you automatically see who owns it, and where its owner is located. This information is particularly useful when visiting new sites and deciding if they are real businesses and whether to trust the information they provide. When any of these tests fail, the user is urged to rethink his/her intention to submit personal information, username, password and credit card number, or to place an order from that site. It summarizes the results of the tests in a simple indication to help the user decide how to proceed.

It can be downloaded at:

http://www.callingid.com

There you have it. As your browser becomes a more essential part of your everyday professional or personnel life, web surfing can be done securely with your privacy in mind. You just need to take some basic precautionary steps to protect yourself.

To respond to this or previous newsletters or to inquire about an on-site presentation, please feel free to call us at 508-995-4933 or email us at [email protected]

Regards, Michael Desrosiers
Founder & Principal Consultant
m3ip, Inc.
We Manage Risk, So You Can Manage Your Business
(O)508-995-4933
(C)774-644-0599
[email protected]
http://www.m3ipinc.com



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1 comment



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More Articles by © Michael Desrosiers







Mon Jan 8 13:36:37 2007: 2805   anonymous


NoScript allows you to default deny scripts and then whitelist in Firefox:

(link)

Whitelisting seems to be the way to go in the long run. I'd like to see others browsers - Opera, Safari on the Mac, etc. - add this kind of functionality, too.

On whitelisting as a concept see also this interesting article:

(link)






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