NoScript can be described as a firewall for your Firefox. However much like a firewall, NoScript is going to require some configuration as you go. The extension blocks Java Script, Java and other executable content except from trusted domains you allow. Example on the Get Firefox Download (http://getfirefox.com) page, Mozilla has a script in place that automatically starts the download once you click on the Download Firefox – Free link from the green box. With NoScript enabled, until you allow mozilla.com the green download box won’t even appear. NoScript keeps an icon in your status bar which will inform you about the current domain (site/page) you are on:
- All scripts on this page are currently forbidden
- Some scripts on this page are allow/forbidden
- All scripts on this page are allowed
Again, NoScript is going to take some configuration and the first few days using it are going to be a little rough. If you tend to visit the same sites on a regular basis it won’t be so bad. For first time users once installed go into the options (right click on the icon in the status bar and select Options…) and under the Notifications tab make sure Show message about blocked scripts is checked. Since most Firefox alerts are generally below the tab bar I would not check the option Place message at the bottom. However, I do recommend un-checking the option Hide after 5 seconds just so you don’t have to rush to click on the Options… button before the alert disappears. Once you have become more comfortable with NoScript (or get annoyed with the messages) you can turn off the messages. When you come to a site/page with blocked scripts click the Options… button (if messages are displayed) or right click on the NoScript icon in the status bar. When you do this, you will see all (yes most of the time there are going to be more than one) the scripts that are currently running on that page. Simply select the allow option for the script you wish to run. Never select the option Allow Scripts Globally.
Until you start using this extension you really have no way of knowing what kind of (or for that matter how many) scripts are running in the background unbeknown to you. Claus Valca on Grand Strand Dreams has raved about the NoScript in his blog several times.
NoScript works on the follow Gecko Based browsers
- Firefox 1.5-3.0a8 or 3.0m8
- Netscape Navigator 9.0 (beta)