Check Your Firefox Plug-Ins in 5 Minutes

Do you have five minutes? In the time you’d wait for a barista to make you a fancy coffee drink, you could be clicking a few buttons in your browser to enhance your Web experience. For example, you could check your plug-ins. Plugins are built outside of Firefox, and often power videos, animation and games.

To check, go to Tools -> Add-ons and select the “Plug-ins” tab. Scroll through that list. For most folks the only plug-ins that are really useful are Flash and Silverlight. (and the “Mozilla Default Plug-in” if you see one). Unless you know you need it, go ahead and disable any other plug-ins in the list. This will probably help Firefox perform better and certainly keep you safer. You can always re-enable the plug-in if you find that you need it later.

Now, restart Firefox so these plug-ins get unloaded from your browser.

Plugins don’t always update automatically. Another way to check your plug-ins is to visit this Mozilla site – Plug-In Check. It will tell you if a plug-in is out of date, and therefore you’re more vulnerable to security threats. On this page, you can update those plug-ins that you decide to keep.

Voila! In under five minutes you did a bit of browser cleaning, and made yourself more secure online. Feels good, doesn’t it?