Posts Tagged ‘Smart-Bro-vs-FireFox’

Protecting your privacy while browsing the web

Friday, December 8th, 2006



I’ve been thinking of writing a post on how to protect yourself, as a web surfer, and the steps you can take to make sure no one will be able to know what sites you’ve been visiting on the net. I had the chance today to sit and write this article, so here it is:


1. Clean history when you finish: The history of a web browser can be invaluable resource to know what a person was surfing on the net. Anyone can simply open a browser after you finish browsing the net and show the list of the websites that you’ve been visiting. This can have a very bad impact on you. Imagine for instance, that you’ve been searching for a job on a specific website and some colleague was able to access this website to learn that you’re searching for a job. It can be very annoying when you discover that your secrets are exposed by some nosy guy.

While this can be very annoying and can put you in serious trouble sometimes, the solution is very simple. You can clean your web-browser history every time you finish browsing the web. Or better, you can set your browser to clean your history when closing (if the browser supports this feature). In Smart Bro, you can simply do that by enabling the auto-history cleaner which works every time you close Smart Bro and cleans all your traces.


2. Make sure no one can access your browser: leaving your machine on and unlocked can invite some people to sit on your desk and see what programs you’re running and what websites you’re surfing. In many situations, you’ll have to leave your machine quickly to handle an urgent matter. It’s a very good habit to lock your machine before leaving because this will prevent others from accessing your computer while you’re away. On Windows XP, you can use Ctrl+K to lock your machine quickly. In case you don’t want to do that, you can activate your browser protection (if available). Some browsers provide a feature that’s call “Boss Key” which hides the whole browser by pressing a single shortcut. In Smart Bro however, you can enable protection by just minimizing Smart Bro to the system tray. Now if another person tried to open Smart Bro, he’ll be asked to provide a password to enable him to see the browser content.


3. Avoid spyware: spyware is a piece of software that will install itself on your machine with one single goal, that’s is, collecting information about you and sending it back to its creators. The spyware is getting very hard to control these days, but installing a reliable anti-spyware software may help you minimize your risk to the minimum. A very important rule to keep in mind is that whenever a website asks you to install something then handle this with caution and ask yourself if you absolutely need this to be done and whether this is a reliable website or not. If the answer is no, reject the request.


4. Be aware of your bookmarks: be careful with what you add to your bookmark list. Some people will bookmark some websites without thinking about the fact that some person may take a look at their list of bookmarks (favorites). When a person does that, it’s the same as leaving his history on the machine which will give the sneaky guy a chance to read it. Some websites these days offer online book marking (like Yahoo!). You can use that to prevent this problem. This method will guarantee that you have your list of bookmarks with you where ever you go. You can also use protected favorites. Smart Bro allows you to add a bookmark group and set a password to enable it to open. So you can bookmark your websites and keep the links protected from being seen by others.


I hope these tips will help you protect your privacy from being exposed.



Browse the web smarter … use Smart Bro.


best regards,

Tony Sticks,

Mind Vision Software (MVS)

Tabbed browsing : Smart Bro vs FireFox

Saturday, November 4th, 2006


Hi Guys,


  Today I’m going to talk about the tabbed interface for both Smart Bro (our browser) and FireFox. I wanted to take a closer look at it in order to come up with the best of both (if any). The comparison is being made between Smart Bro v2.5.0011 and FireFox v1.5.0.7.


  Well, at the first glance, you’ll notice that Smart Bro has a blue icon (mark) on every tab and the text to the right of it. In FF, you’ll see an icon of an empty document instead. When you try to load a website on a specific tab, Smart Bro will show an empty blue icon and start filling that icon until it’s complete which denotes that loading the website is completed. In FF, this is replaced with a progress icon that doesn’t show the progress. The icon itself is very cool, but it doesn’t provide much info.


  I noticed that Smart Bro is missing a feature that is available in FF. When a website has a special icon, FF will show that icon, while Smart Bro will not do that. I’m not sure if this is useful, but I think it may come handy sometimes.


  When a website, in an inactive tab, is loaded in Smart Bro and completed, it will flash to drag your attention that the website (which you’re not currently looking at) is loaded completely. I found this feature is missing in FireFox. I think this is a nice feature that helps users with a slow connection who are trying to work on multiple sites at the same time.


Now for the interaction…

  Smart Bro allows the user to customize what actions should be done for specific events. Left-Click tab, Right-Click tab, Double-Click tab, Shift+Left-Click tab and Shift+Right-Click tab. By default, Smart Bro:


Left-Click: Activates the tab.

Right-Click: Closes the tab.

Shift+Left-Click: Reloads the tab.

Shift+Right-Click: Shows the tab menu.

Double Click: Toggles shrinking on/off.


  What I think is the best in Smart Bro tabbed interface is the closing event (right-clicking the tab) which is very fast and easy. FireFox on the other hand Activates a tab by left-clicking the tab and shows the tab menu by right-clicking the tab. This doesn’t offer much flexibility in my opinion. I recall seeing a close button on every tab in FireFox, but I’m not 100% sure what was that, but in my version it’s not there.


  Both browsers has a close button at the right-most of the tabs area by which you can close the selected tab.


  When loading many websites, both Smart Bro and FireFox keep all the tabs in one line, which is a little bit hard when you’re working on more than 15 websites. I think this is not an important issue, but it should be mentioned.


  Smart Bro offers options to minimize, restore, close, tile horizontally, cascade and close all the currently open tabs using the top-right control box. FireFox doesn’t offer any of these options unfortunately.


  This concludes the tabbed interface comparison. I hope it will be useful to you guys and if you think, I missed a point or two, please leave a comment and I will be more than happy to add them.


Mean while…

Browse the web smarter … use Smart Bro.


Best regards,

Tony Sticks,

Mind Vision Software (MVS).