Make Firefox even better

feature1_userAdvocacyLast month, we told you a bit about the Mozilla Support team (our brilliant crew of staff and volunteer problem-solvers) and how they can help you with anything related to Firefox. But do you know what makes Firefox really awesome? You.

Your feedback goes straight to our User Advocacy team and they make sure your needs, concerns and complaints get into the hands of the people who can help solve your issue. So keep that feedback coming and let’s keep making Firefox better together!

Let us know what you love – or don’t love – about Firefox.

Want to know more about the team? Check us out.

 

Help is just a click away

supportheroHave a question about your Firefox? Our super amazing support team has the answer. Made up of a very smart and very hard-working group of staff and (thousands of) volunteers, these Web wizards can help you with anything Mozilla related, including Firefox OS and Firefox for Android.

To get a question answered, or explore all the great things you can do with your Firefox, check out Mozilla Support today.

If you fancy yourself a Firefox pro, become a superhero and help other users get the most out of their favorite Web browser.

13 Best Firefox Add-ons of 2013

Every month, a committee of Firefox volunteers — who really, REALLY love Firefox Add-ons  — puts their time and effort into finding the best new add-ons. These add-ons are the little pieces of software that add functionality to your Firefox browser and help you customize Firefox to meet your needs and tastes. Can you see why these volunteers like them so much?

These were their top choices of each month in 2013, plus they picked one extra because, well, picking just one each month was hard!

URLlink1) URL Link: Have you ever had an email that had a broken url across several lines? Or seen a textual link on a Web page that isn’t a clickable link? URL Link solves your problem by letting you select a string of text that isn’t a URL and open it as if it were a real, working link.

Click and Clean2) Click and Clean: It’s like spring cleaning all the time, and on your browser! Delete your browsing history, temporary Internet files, download history and more. The CNET editors said “If you’re a Firefox user, and a fan of CCleaner, we highly recommend this free extension for easy access.” Not only do the professionals like it, the add-on also gets 5-star user reviews!

Clear Console3) Clear Console: The developers of this add-on had a vision. “Our work demanded frequent deletion of browser history, cookies and cache and it was boring every time go to the preferences and clear them. So, we thought that an add-on would serve the purpose, not just for us, but for all those who need it.” Thanks to them, you can clear your history, HTML5 storage, cache, cookies and more with one click. (Be sure to thank them when you download it!)

 Self Destructing Cookies4) Self-Destructing Cookies: This add-on isn’t just a cookie manager, it’s a new cookie policy. It lets you delete cookies from any site automatically when you close the window or tab. Would you prefer your cookie jar to be empty, except for a few sites that you care about? Are you worried about unconventional tracking methods? Then give this add-on a try.

New Tab Plus5) New Tab Plus: When you open a new tab, you can enhance that experience with added features and plugins, such as speed dial, cloud addition and cloud backup. (Plus, it’s based on HTML5!)

Video Resumer6) Video Resumer: Usually, when you click through YouTube videos, they start from the beginning. No more! This add-on automatically resumes YouTube videos from where you played them last. Even if you restart your browser. Isn’t that better?

Reload Plus7) Reload Plus: This one’s for the power users of Firefox. Now, you can supercharge your reload button and hot keys with new tasks!

Stylish8) Stylish: Restyle your Web. This add-on lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and many other sites. You can even customize Firefox and other programs. Make the Web more beautiful for you.

Fastest Search9) Fastest Search: Search and ye shall find – faster than ever. For example, Search plain text, whole-word, regular expression, in page(s) for current tab, all tabs or filtered tabs. And that’s just the beginning. Get searching!

Google Search Link Fix10) Google/Yandex Search Link Fix: This extension prevents Google Search from modifying result links when they are clicked. Google Search makes some people unhappy when they change the result link when you click it. If, instead, you try to copy the link you get some gibberish instead of the actual link. This extension disables this behavior — on any Google domain — without having to configure anything. Simply install and enjoy!

S3 Google Translator11) S3 Google Translator: Hola! Bom Dia! Want to add the power of Google Translate into your Firefox browser? This add-on supports translation of  selected text, an entered phrase or the whole Web page in more than 50 languages.

BluHell Firewall12) BluHell Firewall: There are lots of add-ons for blocking ads, but some have extra features that you may not want or need. You just want to have a light-weight alternative. That’s BluHell Firewall!

X-Notifier13) X-notifier: Know right away when “you’ve got mail!” X-notifier checks all of your Webmail accounts and notifies you about unread emails. It also supports some of your social channels, so you’re always on top of what your friends are saying.

These are just the top 13 of the year. There are thousands of add-ons to let you customize your Firefox. There’s also a Support page for you if you ever have questions about how to install or troubleshoot add-ons.

What Does Mozilla Firefox Mean When We Say “Open”?

Mozilla, the makers of  Firefox, champion and protect the open Web. But a lot of you have asked, what does that mean?

We asked Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla to put it in it’s simplest terms.

Q: What does “open” actually mean?

A:  Firefox is a great example of what can be accomplished in the open. About 40% of Firefox code was written by more than 40,000 volunteer contributors. Today, it’s used by more than 450 million people around  the world.

Open  is being accessible and doing things in the light. Open is having a choice. It’s letting other people drive and teaching them how to do it.

We don’t just let you look over our shoulder, we invite you to get under the hood and tinker with the engine.

What it doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean built and understood by only a few gatekeepers. It doesn’t mean keeping users in the dark. It doesn’t mean secret surveillance.

Q: Why should I care about the open Web?

A:  The web is more than a technology; it’s a public resource. It’s a  shared force for good. It’s like the Eighth Wonder of the World that belongs to everyone.

But there are threats to the Web. Governments and corporations that try to control it. Those that think privacy, security and user choice aren’t important.

Mozilla’s mission is to keep the Internet alive and accessible. We know an open web is worth fighting for.

Q: Why should I support “open”? How does “open” protect the Web?

A: Mozilla is a not-for-profit organization. This is a movement, not a business.

We  want to protect the web and create value for everyone. Working in the  open will produce some of the most exciting innovations on the web — it  already has. We’re a global community of technologists, thinkers and  builders working together to build the Web for everyone. Being open is how we make that happen.

Thanks Mark, for teaching us all about the open Web and why it’s important.

If you’re a Firefox user, you’re already supporting the open Web. Tell others about Firefox or share this blog post on your social channels.

Want to do more? Help keep Mozilla fighting by signing up for the Mozilla mission emails.  You can also show your support by becoming  one of our community of awesome volunteers.

Seasonal Themes for Firefox

The seasons are changing! In the U.S., we’re getting ready for fall. We thought this would be a great time to highlight some autumn themes. Themes allow you to change the look and feel of your browser and personalize it.

Here are a few of our fall favorites:

Fall Theme

We didn’t forget about our friends in different parts of the world. There are plenty of themes for you too! If you’re lucky enough to be kicking off spring, you might enjoy some of these:

Spring Theme

  • Morning Spring will remind you of the peaceful spring mornings you love.
  • Joyful Spring You will want to lay in the grass and stare at the clouds with this theme!
  • Must be Spring will have you ready to go smell the flowers in your yard!

Wondering what a theme will look like before you install? Simply hover over the theme you’re interested in, and Firefox will automatically generate a preview for you. If you want to keep it, click add. You can change or remove themes at anytime!

Want to see more? Find thousands of themes here.

Creating Screenshots With Firefox

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you can understand why you might want to take a screenshot of something online.

Did someone post a quote on your social network that you want to save? Are you having an issue with a Web page and want to take a picture to share with the support team? Are you preparing a presentation and you need examples of Web pages to include? Screenshots, screenshots, screenshots!

This Support article details how you can take a screenshot from your computer. But Firefox also features some great add-ons – those little pieces of software that add functionality to your browser – that make the screenshot process even easier (and let’s you do more with your screenshots!)

The screenshot add-on of choice for this writer is Awesome Screenshot Plus. Why? Well, you can choose to capture a whole Web page or just a chosen section of it, and then you can add to the screenshot with shapes, text and more. Plus, the add-on makes that screenshot image easy to share when you’re done. All this with easy access from a little icon in the upper right corner of your browser!

Check out the full list of screenshot add-ons for more options!

Firefox Tip: Find Bookmarks Faster with Tags

Are you a bookmarking fiend? Do you have so many bookmarks that you have difficulty finding them again?

Here’s a tip to help you out!

To help you find bookmarks faster, assign them a “Tag” (a keyword). Here’s how.

Once you have created a bookmark (link to SUMO article), clicking on the star a second time will open an editing window, where you will see a tag field. You can enter tags, or if you select the drop-down arrow next to the tag field, you can select from previous tags.

For example, if you bookmark a product on Amazon.com, you can tag it with “shopping.”

Bookmark tag

Now that you have tagged your bookmark, you can then either search for all sites with a that tag by typing it in the Awesome Bar. How cool is that?

Visit this Support page for more detailed information on how to tag bookmarks (and how to edit bookmark tags from your library).

Firefox for Android Is Now More Awesome

The latest release of Firefox for Android has some new features to make your mobile Web browsing even better. Do you you have Firefox for Android yet?

We’ve made some changes to the Awesome Screen to help you get to your Web sites more quickly.

  • Full Screen Browsing: The title bar automatically hides when you’re not using it. This gives you back your entire screen for browsing enjoyment. When you want to access it again, simply pull down the Awesome Bar from the top of the screen.

  • URL Autocomplete: The Awesome Bar also now  completes your URL destination as you type – currently the only mobile browser that does this!

  • Switch to Tab: The Awesome Screen now has a Switch to Tab feature, that lets you easily find and switch to any open tab from your Awesome Screen without opening duplicate tabs.

  • Your choice of search: Change your default search provider directly from the add-ons manager. Just visit the add-ons manager and long-tap on an installed search engine. This brings up a dialog where you can either “Disable” the search engine or “Set as Default”.

If you haven’t given Firefox for Android a try yet, this is a great time!

Firefox Expert Gives Advice on Staying Safe Online

Recently, we asked Michael Coates, the Director of Security Assurance at Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) a few questions about keeping users safe on Firefox. His goal is to protect users, their privacy and Mozilla’s applications, services, systems and reputation. (Read more from the Security Assurance team on their blog.)

Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge that Internet users face to stay safe online?

Michael’s answer: The biggest challenge for internet users is to ensure their browser and plugins are up to date. One of the most common ways malware infects users on the internet is through outdated browser plugins.

Q. What is a potential solution for that challenge?

Michael’s answer: Mozilla has created a website to help users check if their plugins are out of date and need to be updated. Users should regularly visit this page to ensure the are using the most current versions of all plugins. www.mozilla.org/plugincheck

Q. What is your favorite Firefox security feature?

Michael’s answer: My favorite security feature of Firefox is one that we’ve recently shipped, and that we are still improving. The feature, called Click to Play, helps protect users against attacks targeting outdated plugins. Unfortunately a compromised website may contain malware that attempts to compromise a user’s machine via an outdated plugin. In many cases the website has no normal need to use this plugin at all. The click to play security feature helps protect users by not enabling these outdated plugins by default. Instead these plugins are only activated when a user intentionally takes an action like clicking on a dialogue box in the browser. In the end this new security control helps protect users against a common type of attack on the web.

Thanks to Michael for his insights!

Here are some other security tips from Firefox.

  1. Use a super strong password. If your password is 1234, you’re probably more vulnerable to being hacked. Use a phrase with numbers and special characters. For example, “_pe4reSP” is a strong password.
  2. Know if a site is secure before entering personal information. There are two quick and easy security things to look for when on a site. First, does the URL start with HTTPS (instead of HTTP)? And second, is there a “lock” icon on the URL bar that shows that you are on a secured website?
  3. Use the latest version of Firefox. This is maybe the most important tip. :) With every update comes more security. If you’re using an older browser, you’re putting yourself at greater risk. An update is so simple – here’s how to do it.