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There May Be Hope for us yet.. #152376 10/03/21 04:56 PM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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Our browsers are the most important tools we work online with, ..and yet, as all of us know, today's browser environment is so far from healthy that it's a crying shame. Bad actors wreak havoc around the clock through browser exploits they bend to their own selfish ends, and these exploits impact all of us no matter which OS we run our browsers in.

Michiel Leenaars, director of strategy at NLnet Foundation and coordinator of NGI Zero, has the following to say about the state of the browser accessed world we live and work in today;..

"Dominant corporate behavior from a small (number) of actors has been aggressively reshaping the evolution of the Web, and that is starting to wreak havoc. Despite an enormous systemic dependency, we as users have very little control over what browsers allow and share — leading to significant risk as the most powerful tools in the shed are essentially left unprotected for every casual Web site to abuse..."

"..JShelter is a great initiative to help empower us all, to help us gain better understanding and better safeguard ourselves from obvious and otherwise unavoidable harm. This browser add-on will limit the potential for JavaScript programs to do harmful actions by restricting default behavior and adding a layer of control... Accessing cookies, performing fingerprinting to track users across multiple sites, revealing the local network address, or capturing the user's input before they submit a form are some examples of JavaScript's capabilities that can be used in harmful ways.."

"..JShelter adds a safety layer that allows the user to choose if a certain action should be forbidden on a site, or if it should be allowed with restrictions, such as reducing the accuracy of geolocation to the city area. This layer can also aid as a countermeasure against attacks targeting the browser, operating system, or hardware levels..."

"..JShelter will ask — globally or per site — if specific native functions provided by the JavaScript engine and the Document Object Model (DOM) are allowed by the user. It will also link to an explanatory page for each function, to raise awareness of related threats. Depending on the function being addressed, the user will have the option to allow it, block it, or have it return a custom value..."

"..JShelter will help protect users from critical threats now, and contribute significantly to progress on the necessary longer-term cultural shift of moving away from nonfree JavaScript," said Ruben Rodriguez, former Free Software Foundation (FSF) chief technology officer. "This is a project I've been looking forward to for years, tired of dealing with all kinds of potential anti-features in the browsers I use and distribute, and having to figure out some countermeasure for them with configuration changes, patches or extensions. Being able to wrap the JavaScript engine in a layer of protection is a game changer.."

**********************

I've installed the JShelter extension on my Chrome web browser and will report on what I see as its suitability and effectiveness as time goes by.


..FAILURE is not the opposite of SUCCESS, it's part of what makes SUCCESS..
Re: There May Be Hope for us yet.. [Re: Az4x4] #152378 10/03/21 09:31 PM
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Muniac Offline
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George - Interesting and not surprising. I'm on FF and don't use Chrome. Never much cared for that browser although some swear by it. Each to his own. The protections you highlight should be integrated into any and all browsers but we know why it isn't. Some people go with a VPN and I don't know the scope of protections that offers. For every lock, someone will hack a key to open it. So the war goes on between those wanting security and those violating it. Like the locks we might put on our bikes, the best you can do is slow down the criminals. That said, nuisance crime can be avoided or made too difficult so criminals move on to the next easier target. As for Uncle Sham, if he wants to know what you're doing, you're mostly defenseless. That said, none of us are really that important.except during tax time. I'd be interested in your pros/cons review of JShelter. Most of these extra layers come at the expense of performance. Thanks for the information.


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Re: There May Be Hope for us yet.. [Re: Az4x4] #152387 10/05/21 05:53 PM
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Remember the security paragraph from the DOS 3.3 manual? The one that said the only way to secure your data was to not ever share it with anyone and to never let anyone access your computer. It also warned about hooking your computer up to a network, that as soon as you did your data would no longer be guaranteed to be secure.

It was about that time that I decided I didn't have any secrets worth keeping. Don't get me wrong, I take prudent steps to secure my tech, but I don't get real excited when I get a notice of a data breach and my information "may" have been exposed. These notices usually come along with a new piece of security software you can buy.

Modern times. To think, there was a time when folks worried about vagrants stealing vegetables from their gardens. I hate thieves.

Re: There May Be Hope for us yet.. [Re: d2reid] #152389 10/05/21 07:46 PM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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I don't specifically recall the DOS 3.3 manual's security advice, but to this day the only way to secure your data is to never share it with anyone and never let anyone access your computer. Hooking up to a network guarantees that your data is no longer secure no matter what you've done to make things feel more secure. Like you, I don't have the sort of secrets that are worth worrying over, but I do take steps to secure myself online..

Likewise I remember when worrying about others stealing vegetables from our fields or eggs and/or the occasional chicken from our coops was about as serious as whatever threats we faced were. Hating thievery of any sort grew out of that, but not enough to do bodily harm to someone desperate to feed himself and his family..

Back in the late '40s my mom and dad often fed hungry people wandering by our place, either on foot or in bailing wired together old automobiles. They even gassed their vehicles up while they were at it, drawing from a large overhead fuel storage tank through the gravity fed glass cylinder gas pump we fueled pickups with. They never turned needy people away, and never sought recognition of any sort for the neighborly outreach they extended to those who came our way. Being aware of the needs of others and lending a hand whenever possible was simply the way things were done back then.

We live in an entirely different world today, yet rural conservative America still functions on much the same level as it did in the past, and we'll continue doing so for as long as humanly possible. As long as we keep our distance from the political 'me, me, me' rot that's eating America's big cities alive from the inside out we'll be OK, at least for the immediate future. Beyond that, who can say for sure..


..FAILURE is not the opposite of SUCCESS, it's part of what makes SUCCESS..

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