Firefox Add-On – NoScript

I recently received a new computer at work. One of the first software packages that I installed was FireFox, and made it my default browser.

I then installed an Add-On called NoScript. This turns off all JavaScript on a web page. It gives you the option to either temporarily or permanently turn on the JavaScript for a given site.

For example, I have JavaScript permanently turned on for the ISU Extension web site. I also have it turned on for some of the other sites I visit regularly. On other sites, I will choose to temporarily allow JavaScript.

I never allow JavaScript from certain sites, especially when the JavaScript is trying to run from a third party site. Another piece of JavaScript that I never allow is the one from Google Analytics. Google knows enough about me without me giving them that much information about my browsing habits.

For many pages, loading them without running the JavaScript doesn’t affect them too much. For others, it will change the functionality of the pages, but they still work.  For example, on the eXtension home page, the rotating images simply become a series of individual images. You can still navigate around the site without any problem. For other pages, not having JavaScript enabled completely breaks them.

Here are my reasons for running NoScript:

  • Many pages are less cluttered. A lot of times, the ads and other annoying “features” are implemented in JavaScript. With NoScript, you don’t see a lot of this stuff.
  • Ability to block Google Analytics, and other tracking systems from seeing where you are browsing.
  • Most importantly, security.  Many times a hacked page will try loading a JavaScript file from a third party server. If you don’t allow scripts from unknown sources, they won’t run.

Here is where you can download NoScript.

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