I want to say, first off, and for full disclosure purposes, that I am far from an expert on computers, utilities, and other related technologies. The only reason I bring up this topic is I was on a news website run by one of the huge 24-hour cable news channels and I noticed they have an awful lot of what are called trackers there.
A tracker is used to see how much web traffic hits a particular site and the owners of that site use this information to sell ads. In most cases, these trackers are harmless and some, like WordPress’ Stats, simply count how many hits your blog gets.
“[…]sees the invisible web – tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons. Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.”
Another add-on for Firefox are Dictionary and Language Packs. Just select the language you use most, presumably English if you’re reading this, and install it. This pack has saved me a lot of time when I run across words that I have a tough time remembering how to spell. If I misspell it, it catches it. Handy for avoiding a lot of mistakes and looking like an idiot.
AdBlock Plus is another anti-ad related add-on for Firefox that I like. With it, you can block a lot of those annoying flash ads that Yahoo! seems so fond of. You know the kind I mean, brightly colored flashing lights that don’t stop and draw your eye away from the reason you are on the site in the first place? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. I hate those ads. Can’t stand ’em. With AdBlock Plus, I don’t have to look at them as much. You get the opportunity to block them and the program creates a script that prevents the ad from running on your machine again. Handy.
Remember, the internet should be a fun place to gather information and enjoy yourself, not be deluged with ads for products you don’t want. Add these add-ons to Firefox and take control of your web experience.