Chrome

Chrome Blocking Ads

No doubt you're read that starting February 15, 2018, Google's Chrome Browser will start blocking certain ads -- and this from a company whose revenue stream is income from ads?

Well, there's a lot more to this change, as the following article so clearly points out:

https://www.howtogeek.com/336952/google-the-worlds-biggest-advertising-company-will-block-ads-soon.-is-that-good/

On balance, for me as a user of Chrome, I'll welcome this change. It will be interesting to see if I notice any real change, though.

Jim Hamm 

Still Got Flash?

        "By now hopefully you're removed Adobe Flash from your browser, or, if you need to run Flash, you're using the Chrome Browser," begins Jim Hamm.   "However, if you've still got Flash installed, here is an article on how to use plugins to help control Flash from playing."
        And you'll want to read this.  Jim goes on to add, "Now even the Federal Government is getting involved. You probably don't need/want to read the alert, but here it is -- from the 'United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.'  Impressive, huh?"

More on Comparing Browsers

        Jim Hamm has found more info to pass along here. "If deciding on which browser to use is important to you, here is an article comparing the various browsers. 
        "I tend to rotate among all the browsers (except Internet Explorer, which I don't use) and find that it doesn't matter much to me which I use. They all do a decent job, and are just different enough to make it interesting just to try a different browser from time to time. Vivaldi is a browser I've been recently trying, and it's fine, though perhaps a bit slower rendering web pages than the other browsers."
        Here's something to consider from Jim, "One item the article doesn't mention is Adobe's Flash Player, and which is declining in use on the web, due in part to malware vulnerabilities in past years. 
        "However, I do occasionally run across a website that requires Flash Player. Pandora Radio is one. 
        "The Chrome browser comes with Flash pre-installed, and sandboxed, which is good.  Sometimes it is difficult to get Flash installed in Safari, so switching to Chrome, for example, solves that problem."
        And Jim sums it up with, "If you'd enjoy the author's comments on browsers, then read on. If it doesn't matter, tap delete and get to something interesting...(grin)...Jim "

"Freak" Bug Update

        John Carter passes along some VERY important info.  "Both Microsoft and Apple have announced that they have released a patch for the FREAK bug. See full article here.
        "In this article, it explains a lot more about the 'Freak' bug and what you can do to find out if your browser is safe to use and even if a website you want to visit is safe to use. The article is written for Mac users, but the method for determining if your browser is safe is essentially the same." 

        John continues, "For all users, check this site to determine if the website you want to visit is secure. The sad news is that your favorite website may fail. It could be only because the site does not have an updated security certificate, or it may be vulnerable to an attack by some issue other than FREAK, so you’re just going to have to take your chances if you insist on going there. For example, my personal website is vulnerable because the hosting service is vulnerable.
        "I have tested the latest Safari browser and have determined that it is safe to use - and this was confirmed after the latest Apple security updates have been installed. I have also just updated Windows 8.1 and tested MSIE and found it to be safe. 
        "The Win 10 Beta with the latest updates is secure for MSIE, Firefox, and Chrome.
        "However, Windows 7, even with the latest update, still has the vulnerable MSIE, and this also applies to both the latest Firefox and Chrome browsers on Win 7. Please continue to monitor your Windows 7 update for updates.
        "It is still recommended that Firefox be the browser to use (instead of MSIE or Safari)."
        John concludes with this, "In addition, Apple has just release iOS 8.2 for the iPhone and iPad, and this release fixes the FREAK bug for those devices. See full article here."

Search Privacy

        Here's some input from Jim Hays,   "In a recent posting David Passell mentioned using "duck duck go" to ensure search privacy. Another option is Startpage (https://startpage.com/) which claims to be 'the only third-party certified search engine in the world that does not record your IP address or track your searches.' 
        "StartPage is compatible with a broad range of browsers including Firefox, Safari and Chrome. StartPage can also be used to visit third-party websites with total privacy by using the StartPage Proxy."

Which Browser is Best?

        "Here is the most comprehensive review of browsers on a Mac that I've ever read. You — and I, for sure — probably won't understand or appreciate all the technical jargon used in the testing," Jim Hamm introduces us to this topic. 
        Read about these four: Safari 7.0.3, Firefox 28.0. Chrome 34.0.1847.116, and Opera 20.0.1.1387.91 in a 10-page report.

        Jim goes on to explain,  "It used to be the emphasis was on speed of the browser, but no longer is this considered so important. There are many factors involved in browsing the web, playing games, etc., as the author explains. 

        "Which browser is considered best on a Mac? Well, if this is important to you, read on to see what the testing says. But, realistically, the browser that suits your needs is the browser that's best for you.
        And Jim concludes, "It was interesting — to me, anyway — to read how the author went about the testing. Might be a bit too geeky for many folks, though."

More on Chrome & Passwords

        Here's more from Jim Hamm on Chrome and Passwords adding to what was posted here below.  "Recently I wrote how Chrome stores passwords entered via the browser in plain text, even without asking if you want them stored or not. As a follow-up, here is an article that explains how this was known some years ago and yet Chrome has become a very popular browser.  

        "Unfortunately, I didn't realize this and have entered passwords in Chrome and, yes, they're stored there in plain text. Google has clearly stated they have no intention of changing this policy, or even alerting users that Chrome does this." 
        So, Jim, what to do?   "Of course, you could discontinue using Chrome. However, I like Chrome and plan to occasionally keep using it, but will no longer use it when I need to log in to a secure website with a password. I'll use another browser. 
        "Also, I will go into Chrome and delete all the passwords stored there. Do this by entering  chrome://settings/passwords in the browser."   

Be Informed About Chrome Browser

        Here's important info from Jim Hamm,  "If you should use Chrome as a browser -- as I do occasionally -- and have guests at your house and they should want to use your computer a bit, you might take a look at this article. Chrome apparently saves your passwords whether you wanted them saved or not. You may not want your guests having access to your passwords saved in Chrome.

      "Out of curiosity, I took a look at which passwords were saved in Chrome on my computer -- a lot, but none of serious consequence. Just to see if Chrome asks me if I want to save a password or not, I tried logging into a couple of sites using a password. Chrome didn't ask me if I wanted to save the password or not -- presumably Chrome just saved it.
      "This is not good if, say, you're on Chrome and logging into your bank account. Keep this in mind if you use Chrome as your browser. Other browsers will ask you if you want a password saved." And here Jim signs off with his customary grin. 

Be Careful With Chrome

        This alert is just in from Jim Hamm:  "If you use the Chrome browser occasionally (as I do), here is an article about carefully reading the 'permissions' question before completing the installation. I hadn't paid much attention to this previously, but will now, especially after reading the following quote in the article." 

        "Research scientists at Barracuda Networks recently discovered malicious extensions in the Chrome web store that fooled more than 90,000 users of the browser."

About Firefox

It was a very short email from our travelin' man Jim Hamm, "If you use Firefox as a browser, you may want to take a look at this manual."          So, is this the best browser? we asked.  And Jim and Zee somewhere along the Mississippi River on a tour wrote back,  "No, Firefox not my favorite browser. I don't have a favorite. I rotate between FF, Safari, Maxthon and Chrome. They all work well. FF does probably have more extensions and add-ons than other browsers, and they are useful. I don't happen to have FF installed on my MacBook Air or I could share the add-ons I find helpful."  So, we'll probably hear more a little later.  

Precautions About Java

        Got Java?  Note these precautions forwarded to us from Jim Hamm. 
        "Here's another article describing the risk of keeping Java enabled on your browser.  If you need to access websites that require Java, I like the suggestion in the article to have a browser set aside for this purpose. I think Chrome might be good for this. As I've mentioned previously, I have Java disabled in Safari and haven't had any problems accessing websites. It seems there are fewer of them nowadays." 

        Jim goes on to say, "I'm surprised that Oracle hasn't been more aggressive in patching Java and making it more secure against malware. There is some debate going on between Oracle and Google on who "owns" Java.  See this article. 
        "Regardless of the court outcome, I think it's wise to disable Java in your browser, just to be on the safe side."
        But Jim, is Java the same as JavaScript in the Preferences in Safari?  "No, they are completely different programs."