Top 5 Chrome Extensions for Techs and Web Geeks

At my Day Job, I work in the web hosting industry. But really, if you do any amount of work daily online and deal with domain names and web development, you’re going to want some browser extensions to make things easier on yourself. Here are my top 5 chrome extensions.

 

lastpass-logo

The first step for making life easier is using a password manager. I personally use LastPass, and it works well for its intended use. The only trouble I’ve had with it (or any password manager) is that sometimes it auto-fills where I don’t want it to, and some web software (WHMCS for example) automatically saves whatever is entered. So, I turn auto fill off and that solves the problem.

 

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus Options

Uncheck “Allow some non-intrustive advertising”

For me, Adblock Plus is kind of a no brainer. I hate ads. They slow down my browsing (especially on meager 1.5mbps DSL) and they are an attack vector I can do without. Trouble is, AdBlock Plus now allows some ads through from companies that have paid them to do so. Yeah, they sold out just a little, but everyone has to make a living, right? Thankfully there’s an easy way to disable this “feature”. Just right click on the ABP icon in Chrome, and click on Options. Then in the menu below, uncheck “Allow some non-intrusive advertising”. Done!  Now I get the benefits of full ad blocking.

 

HostCopy

Chrome makes it impossible to copy simply the hostname out of the Omnibar (the combined search/address bar). If you want just “tidbitsfortechs.com” it’ll copy “http://tidbitsfortechs.com/” no matter what you do. Enter HostCopy. With HostCopy all you have to do is click the “hc” icon in Chrome and it copies the bare hostname (including www. if it is in the address) to the clipboard. It’s a great time saver!

 

VirtualHosts

VirtualHosts Chrome Extension

Type in the name of the host you want to view, then click “Enable”

VirtualHosts is a really neat extension. Specify the VirtualHost that you want to request in the http header, and then enter the IP address that the site resites on. It automatically resolves it and shows you the site. This is very cool because it saves you from having to make a hosts file entry that essentially does the same thing (just through DNS instead of through the http header). I use this a lot to view sites that don’t have DNS pointing yet. It’s a more obscure extension, but totally worth inclusion just because of how useful it is.

Revolver Tabs

Revolver Tabs Options

Revolver Tabs Options

Have you ever needed to monitor several websites simultaneously, but don’t have enough monitors? Revolver Tabs to the rescue! Open up each site in a tab, and Revolver Tabs will rotate through each tab on a schedule. You can specify the number of seconds between tab switches, force a reload on each rotation, and specify which sites not to include in the rotation. You can also have it stop rotating while you’re working on something. This is useful for keeping an eye on your email, Twitter feed, Facebook, and the likes, and then stopping to answer someone, then having it keep moving.

 

Omnibox Timer

OmniBox Timer Options

OmniBox Timer Options

This list would be incomplete if I didn’t show you a really neat Timer extension that I found called Omnibox Timer. Once installed, just type “tm” in the Omnibox, and then “15m break” and in 15 minutes, it notifies you that your break is over. It’s great for any task and helps you keep track of time, and is just so easy to use.

It even has a neat “Text To Speech” option that talks to you when your timer is up.

 

 

In Conclusion

These are some of the most useful Chrome extensions I’ve found. Do you have a favorite you’d like to add? Please use the commens below, or tweet me at @realgeocrasher and I’ll see about getting it added to the list. Enjoy!

 

 

Malwarebytes Forum Hacked: Yes, It can happen to anyone

Just a few minutes ago, I received the following letter in my email:

“geocrasher,

I’m writing to let you know that on November 10th a vulnerability in our
forum software allowed a hacker to gain access to the server hosting our
community. We have no evidence of any personal data being stolen (nor do
we store any on our forums!) but as a precautionary measure we are
forcing all users to reset their passwords. The next time you attempt to
log in, please select the “Forgot Your Password?” link below and follow the steps.

https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=lostpass

We’ve also migrated our community away from our servers and onto a
service hosted by Invision Power Board. They know their software best
and as vulnerabilities are discovered, they can patch them more quickly.

I personally apologize for the inconvenience and if you have any
questions, do not hesitate to contact me directly at
mkleczynski@malwarebytes.org.

Marcin”

There’s several lessons that can be learned in this:

1) Never use the same password twice. The same password used at a hacked site, used elsewhere, is asking for your accounts to be compromised. I’ve seen it happen.

2) Keep your site software up to date. Whether you’re using Invision Power Board, WordPress, Magento, Drupal, or some other solution: Keep it updated!

3) If you can’t properly manage your security, hire someone who can

Marcin fessed up here, which is nice. But it never should have happened. You’d think that a company like Malwarebytes would keep things updated, but phrases like “They know their software best
and as vulnerabilities are discovered, they can patch them more quickly” lead me to believe that this breach was due to a vulnerability that Malwarebytes didn’t patch quick enough, even though the updates were available.

So if it can happen to Malwarebytes, it can happen to you. Keep your software updated!

 

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