Must Have AddOn for Firefox: Lightbeam


Install this into Mozilla Firefox if you are using it in the lab.  Read their note below.

As revelations about government surveillance continue to stun people around the world, I’m reminded of why I joined Mozilla three years ago as privacy and public policy lead.

In the midst of massive investments in tracking and mining of user data, here was a group of people fiercely committed to making individual control part of the Web. Today, Mozilla is still proudly non-profit, and we still believe privacy and security are fundamental principles of the Internet that cannot be ignored.

But we don’t just talk a good game, we build the tools that make a difference. And because you are a Mozilla supporter, I want you to be among the first to know about our latest free tool called Lightbeam for Firefox.

We built Lightbeam to shine a spotlight on online data tracking to help people understand the Web. After you download and install the Lightbeam add-on to Firefox, it creates a real-time visualization of the websites you visit and all the third parties active on those sites. As you browse from site to site you can watch the visualization grow. You can also share your Lightbeam data with Mozilla and better inform a global dialog on the prevalence of tracking.

We build tools like Lightbeam because we believe that everyone should understand and be in control of their user data and privacy. Privacy is what lets us trust that our laptops — and phones, apps and services — are truly ours and not working against us.

Like you, I believe that the Web and our privacy and security are worth fighting for. I joined Mozilla because I wanted to be a part of a community of people working to build the Web we need — and fighting to protect the Web we love. Join the fight! Together we can collectively pull back the curtains on the Web and shine a light on how we’re being tracked online.


The advanced Web Class is working with the Firefox AddOn Collusion and going through a recent article at Lifehacker.

Firefox: We talk a lot about privacy at Lifehacker, specifically about how your activities are tracked on the web and what you can do to stop it. If you’re still on the fence or not convinced that the issue is as widespread as it is, Collusion is a Firefox extension that will show you in real time which sites are tracking you, where you picked up their tracking cookies, and what they can see.

Collusion provides a visual, interactive map of tracking services you’ve interacted with and the sites you visited with the tracking cookies and scripts on them. Installing Collusion doesn’t require a restart, and once installed, the add-on opens a tab and begins to draw a map of how you’re being tracked as you browse the web. You’ll find most sites use some kind of tracking cookies (ours included) for ads, stats, and social media, but even after a few minutes of web browsing, the tracking map can grow alarmingly large. Hover over any point on the map to see who the tracking service is, and which sites you’ve visited are connected to it.

Dots in red are services that PrivacyChoice has confirmed track you across multiple sites. Dots in grey are unconfirmed, and some of them are harmless (like Disqus, for example, which tracks you across sites so you can comment on articles,) but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep tabs on you. If you want a real picture of who has access to what information, just look at the list of sites associated with each dot. If you already have some tools installed to prevent this kind of tracking and want to quality check, Collusion can help you see how well they’re working. If you’re not doing anything and the sheer number of services tracking your activities has you concerned, check out our guide to making the web more opt-in than it is opt-out for some suggestions.


Personas Lesson Plan on Moodle

A great lesson plan on Firefox Personas, using Moodle originally, reformatted for the Web.   Originally from Brad Cook, Graphics teacher at Gresham High School.



All you need to do is create two graphics files in your favorite graphics editing program (e.g., Photoshop). To get started read more about how to create a Persona.

Save final copies (PNG or JPG) – but be sure to check to ensure they don’t exceed 300k in filesize!. (Note: This will only test your Persona on the platform you are currently using)

Uploading New Personas.
You will need to create an account with Personas. Follow the directions in the site. click here

Frequently Ask Questions:

What are Personas?
Personas are lightweight “skins” that change the look of your Firefox web browser. You can easily switch between Personas with just a few clicks. There are hundreds of Personas to choose from, with more added every day. You can even create your own and share it with others.

How do I add Personas to my Firefox?
In less than 60 seconds, you can install a Persona and transform the look of your Firefox web browser. Visit and click the download button. After installation, you will be asked to restart Firefox.

If you want to see how it works, you can watch a quick video demonstration here.

Once Personas are installed, you’ll be able to choose and change your selected Persona any time simply by clicking on the little fox mask in the lower left-hand corner of your browser window.

How can I add or change my current Persona?
There are two easy ways to change your Persona:

  1. Visit the Personas website at, check out the gallery, choose your favorite Persona, and click on your choice to instantly change the look of your browser.
  2. Click on the little fox mask in the lower left hand corner of your browser, then select a Persona that suits your style.



Photoshop File

Demo on Firefox Personas header and footer

The footer image is displayed as the background of the bottom of the browser window, behind the status and find bars.

The footer image should be PNG or JPG, 3000 pixels wide and 100 pixels tall and no larger than 300kb in filesize.



Image Overlays/Backgrounds will need to extend into the
white portion of the document