Firefox add-on released

Firefox add-on released

We are happy to announce the release of PlusPrivacy FireFox add-on! Search for “PlusPrivacy” at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.

The FireFox add-on should work also in Tor browser but we are still testing this. Its functionality is identical to that of PlusPrivacy Chrome extension, except the built-in ad blocker has been removed as FireFox users typically prefer to use an ad blocker of their choice. The PlusPrivacy FireFox add-on will co-exist in harmony with uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus or any other ad blocker.

PlusPrivacy goes anonymous!

PlusPrivacy goes anonymous!

PlusPrivacy can now be used completely anonymously, without login and without registration. Just install the Chrome/Firefox extension/mobile app and start using it. All the functions will work with the exception of email identity management which naturally requires logging in with your real email address.

If you use PlusPrivacy anonymously, without logging in, there will be no communication whatsoever between the PlusPrivacy app/browser extension and PlusPrivacy servers. We will not know that you have downloaded the extension/app, or that you installed it, or that you are using it. All your data (such as your social network privacy preferences) will only be stored locally on your device. No data about you, your device or your actions will be transmitted to PlusPrivacy. None. Nada. Rien.

If you decide to use email identity management you can sign up/log in with your email address, which will then be used by PlusPrivacy servers for the sole purpose of  re-mailing your email to hide your identity, as described in our privacy policy.

Log in will also be required to use the consent-for-benefit deals when they become available. This, too, will be entirely user’s choice.

Finally, if you have previously signed up with your email and now want to continue using PlusPrivacy anonymously, simply delete your PlusPrivacy account (you can do it from within the Chrome/Forefox extension). When you delete your account, your data is wiped and PlusPrivacy servers forget that this account ever existed.

You can download the PlusPrivacy extension from Google Chrome Store or from FireFox Add-ons.

PlusPrivacy team

PlusPrivacy Chrome extension Linux bug fixed

PlusPrivacy Chrome extension Linux bug fixed

linux_ppIn the previous version, the PlusPrivacy Chrome extension crashed on certain Linux based operating systems, including but not limited to ChromeOS. This bug has been fixed in the current version (1.2.1).

We ask our users to report any issues they encounter to contact at plusprivacy dot com.

Let PlusPrivacy manage your social network privacy

Let PlusPrivacy manage your social network privacy

Properly configuring your social network privacy settings is a major hassle for most of the users. In this article we highlight a major PlusPrivacy feature – single click management your social network privacy settings.

PlusPrivacy is an open source service for managing personal privacy online. The service is funded by the European Union and is intended for public good. PlusPrivacy is fully operational, with some new features under development. The currently available tier of services is free and will always remain free.

Why do I need privacy preferences management?

Try to find all the pages in your Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts where you are supposed to configure your privacy preferences. In each of these, privacy preferences are scattered over up to 6 (!) pages. If you do find them all, you will see that some of them default to giving the social network permission to track, profile and bomb you with ads (your privacy is a product, and the social networks try to take the biggest possible chunk of it).

After some effort you think you have figured them all out, and change the settings manually to their most privacy-friendly values. Now try to do it all four of the above services. Unless you are a real privacy freak, the chances of you completing the process successfully and correctly (or completing it at all) are very low.

PlusPrivacy’s “Single click social network privacy”

Luckily, PlusPrivacy can save you from this trouble. It will set your privacy preferences to their most privacy-friendly values automatically, in a single click. Just go to your PlusPrivacy dashboard, click the “Single click privacy” button and watch PlusPrivacy do it for you!

You do not need to dig into the privacy settings pages of each of your social network accounts. PlusPrivacy dashboard is all you need.

But don’t social networks introduce new privacy settings from time to time?

Of course they do, and always in a most sneaky fashion. They add new privacy settings or change default values of the existing ones, and you are none the wiser. Not any more. PlusPrivacy team is watching them. You do not need to know. Every time you click “Single click privacy”, PlusPrivacy will configure all your settings, old and new, to their most privacy-friendly values.

And what if I want to configure some of the settings myself?

That’s easy. PlusPrivacy allows you to do it from its dashboard. First, you click “Single click privacy”. Then, you go to individual settings, modify them according to your preferences and click “Update”. That’s all.

How does it work?

You need to be logged into the relevant social network accounts in your browser. PlusPrivacy Chrome extension or FireFox add-n will access the privacy settings of the accounts on your behalf and do the changes.

How much data does PlusPrivacy collect and store about you for this action?

None. This is why it needs you to be logged into the relevant social network accounts to perform this function.

 

PlusPrivacy provides many other personal privacy functions. We will highlight them in upcoming articles.

Making sense of connected apps and browser extensions using PlusPrivacy

Making sense of connected apps and browser extensions using PlusPrivacy

A central feature of PlusPrivacy is a single Privacy Dashboard from which you can manage your privacy in social networks, browser extensions, connected apps, email identities  and ad blocking/tracking prevention. In this article we will highlight the highly useful PlusPrivacy feature of managing access to your data by browser extensions and by apps connected to your social network accounts.

PlusPrivacy is an open source service for managing personal privacy online. The service is funded by the European Union and is intended for public good. PlusPrivacy is fully operational, with some new features under development.

What exactly are “connected apps” and why should you be concerned?

Let us say that you played a free game on Facebook, or could not resist a time-saving temptation to log into a website with your Twitter account instead of email+password, or tried out a non-Google mobile app to manage your Google calendar or tasks, or referenced your LinkedIn account in your Angel List account, or tried out a cool mobile app that stores data in your Dropbox account.

There is one thing in common for all of the above actions – you have given the game/mobile app/web app access to your social network data or cloud storage. In rare cases the app will only require limited permissions to access or manipulate your data. More often, the access and permissions will be unlimited – whatever you can do with your data, the app can do as well – such as tweet on your behalf.

But wait, it gets worse. Let us say you tried a mobile calendar app and decided not to use it. You uninstall the app and forget about it. However, the app’s network-based server still has access to your Google data!

What about browser add-ons/extensions?

Every time you install a FireFox add-on or Google Chrome extension, it gets permissions to access and manipulate your data in or from within your browser – and it may well be communicating this data to its backend server. You can of course uninstall the extension – but many people will just install and forget about it. Unless you are technical enough, you will not even be able to find out what are the permissions given to the extension.

How relevant is this for you personally?

Hard to tell. Finding this out manually can be difficult and time-consuming. You can of course log into each of your social network/cloud storage accounts, dig and find the relevant settings (usually called something like “connected apps”) and manually disable access and permissions given to the unwanted app. Then you can dig into the add-on settings of your browser and find out which extensions you have installed (finding out their specific permissions can, as we said above, be a tall order) and disable or uninstall the ones you no longer need or want.

However, if you are like most of us – busy and not completely paranoid – you will never do it. You may well have tens of apps that you have long forgotten ever using, currently having access to your social network and cloud storage data. And you have absolutely no idea what they are doing with your data.

Enter PlusPrivacy

One of the coolest features of PlusPrivacy dashboard is automated discovery of  apps connected to your Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and Dropbox accounts, as well as extensions installed in your Chrome browser, and a single click termination of access (or un-installation) of those of them that you no longer want to access your data. In most cases PlusPrivacy will also tell you what are the exact permissions given to a connected app. All this will be presented to you in a table with a disable/uninstall button next to each app – giving you the ability to take a single-click action. Even if you have tens of unwanted apps connected to your social network accounts, you will be done in 2 minutes!

How does it work?

You need to be logged into the relevant social network accounts in your browser. PlusPrivacy Chrome extension/FireFox add-on will access the privacy settings of the accounts on your behalf, extract the info about the apps, present it to you, and carry out your disable/uninstall decisions. You will not need to dig into privacy settings of each social network yourself.

Here is a practical advice: let us say a take-it-or-leave-it web site with content you really want to see has just forced you to log in with your social network account (say, Facebook or Google). Do not worry. Just go to your PlusPrivacy dashboard, select “Extensions & Apps”, select the social network account you have been forced to log in with, find the name of the website, and click the trash bin icon. Voilà, the intrusive site or app is no longer connected to your social network data!

How much data does PlusPrivacy collect and store about you for this action?

None. This is why it needs you to be logged into the relevant social network accounts to perform this function.

 

PlusPrivacy provides many other personal privacy  functions . We will highlight them in upcoming articles.

Want to try PlusPrivacy? It’s free and open source!   Sign up at https://PlusPrivacy.com