Articles in this knowledgebase
- Single Installation
- Chrome Installation
- Firefox Installation (coming soon)
- Safari Installation (coming soon)
- How to Use
- Frequently Asked Questions
– Single Installation
- Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for Flare Browser Controller. Alternatively, CLICK HERE.
- Click the button that says “Add to Chrome”
- Flare Browser Controller will be installed
- A new web page will open that requests a license key. To obtain a single license key, or to discuss multiple licenses, click here.
– How to Use
The main extension menu has the following items:
- Map View
- Settings Lock (lock icon)
- Advanced Settings (cog icon)
- Browser Activity (list icon)
- FAQ (help icon)
- Flare Browser Protect
- Website & Word Filters
- Block Trackers & Content
- View Stats
- View Cookies
The map view will show you a GeoIP location of the ad servers and data brokers and other URLs that are connecting to your browser.
The SpyderWeb is a graphical view of how many trackers, cookies and 3rd parties are:
- accessing your computer
- being blocked by Flare Browser Controller
- how they are related to the website & how they track you across multiple websites
SpyderWeb is a very good way of seeing just how many sites you have connected to, because oftentimes a user does not realize or know exactly how many “extra” connections are active in the background. One website can have hundreds of 3rd party connections, and using SpyderWeb enables you to see a visual representation of each connection.
Allow / Block Connections
From the SpyderWeb page, you can zoom in and click on the connections. Once highlighted (clicked) you can block or allow each individual connection, giving you full control of your privacy.
You can optionally report the link, and this will send us an anonymous report of the connection. Our team will investigate, and may add the URL to the master lists for all users. Every link is checked, and can help other users, so… please report suspicious or dangerous connections!
You can also see a quick view of the blocked and allowed connections for your current browser session in the summary pane:-
This is especially useful if you want to see how many connections are actually active when visiting a particular website.
Example: If you visit a news website on a regular basis, and you want to isolate as many connections as possible for this website, you can perform the following actions:-
- Clear stats (link at top right of page) – this will create a new SpyderWeb session
- Open up the website you want to isolate in a new tab
- Go back to SpyderWeb and refresh page (link at top right of page)
- Here is an isolated view of CNN.com
We can now go through each connection and block/allow accordingly.
– Settings Lock
The settings lock allows you to password protect any settings you have made in Flare Browser Controller. For example, if you have blocked a number of words or websites, you can ensure these settings are not changed by any other user by applying a password to the settings.
TIP: If you are worried that users might circumvent Flare Browser Controller settings and use Chrome Incognito, you can disable Incognito by using this guide.
– Advanced Settings
- Update Settings
Optionally change your update preferences for the extension
- Do Not Track
“Do Not Track” or “DNT” lets you politely ask a website to not share your activity with analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. When this feature is enabled you’ll opt out of tracking by automatically adding a special flag to the HTTP header of every request made by your computer. Since this all happens in the background, you can set it and forget it! Not all websites will honor your DNT request, so the Browser Controller will continue to block any trackers it detects.
- On Screen Controls
A small control panel will be visible in your browser window with access to core functions and stats for the Browser Controller
- Lean Mode
Lean mode allows you to enable or disable non-essential features in order to improve the performance of the Browser Controller.
When lean mode is on, you will not be able to view the SpyderWeb or blocked statistics.
- Cookie Management
– Some websites require certain cookies, in order to, function properly or use them to remember your login details. If these cookies are blocked, it will affect the performance of the website. Therefore, you will need to allow cookies for sites that you want to remember your login details.
You can prevent the Browser Controller from deleting your cookies by: Uncheck “Delete all cookies on leaving page”, then select “Do not do anything (let browser handle)”
- Browsing History
You can optionally delete your browsing history every time you close you browser window with this feature
- Smart Fix
Smart Fix is a convenient feature that optimizes the protection levels for best user experience possible without having to do any work.
It adjusts protection on websites that require certain tracking in order to load. Smart-Fix will only adjust protection levels for websites that are known to malfunction under our highest protection level. You can always turn Smart-Fix off in the Advanced Settings if you prefer to control these settings yourself.
– My Setting
On the left of the page, you can manage all of your settings in one place. You can add or remove websites for the various protection levels.
- Manage No Protection Websites
- Manage Basic Protection Websites
- Manage Standard Protection Websites
- Manage Advanced Protection Websites (Default)
- Manage Customized Protection Websites
- Manage SpyderWeb Setting
You can click on each protection level, and see what Privacy Level, Browsing Quality, Data Usage Saving and Battery Saving effects each level provides:-
– Stats and Details
This page allows you to view and manage each individual record for cookies, trackers and 3rd party URLs. If you see a specific cookie you want to block, you can do that here. You can also clear all of your stats and cookies from here.
Q. How do I know which connections I should block, and which I should allow?
A. This is the question we are asked most. Flare Browser Controller uses a constantly updated list of URLs that can be managed by you directly in the various views in the extension. If you visit a website that has a number of ads being displayed, or popups, or even suspicious links on the page, you can check in SpyderWeb to find the connection that is suspicious. You can then check block the URL by process of elimination.
Whilst Flare Browser Controller cannot block every untrusted website (no software can), potentially malicious connections are automatically blocked, so the website cannot track you or inject scripts into your browser. Users should exercise caution on any websites they have not visited before, especially if Flare Browser Controller is blocking multiple connections on the website.
Q. What are cookies? Why do I need to block them?
A. Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.
Flash cookies are like normal cookies but they are instead shared by all the browsers on your device and are actually stored in the device and not your browser.
Cookies can be used for many necessary functions of a website, however there are some cookies (Tracking Cookies) that are specifically there solely to track your identity. These cookies are considered tracking cookies.
There are new 3rd party trackers being created all the time. Tracking companies are smart and they create new trackers that provide enhanced ability to snoop on you. Please help us by reporting these new trackers on our SpyderWeb graph.
A third party cookie is one that is placed in your browser by a separate website than the one your visited. For example, if you went to cybxsecurity.com and the web page installs a cookie from xyz.com, the xyz.com cookie would be considered a third party.
Q. What is a web beacon?
A. Web beacons are tiny clear single pixel images that are embedded into web pages you visit that monitor your behavior. Often used for Data Analytics, they are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye. When a user downloads a web page, the browser tries to download these tiny image files, which may download trackers. Associated with cookies, these bugs are monitoring your behavior on websites you visit. All this information is very useful to companies who want to create a dossier or sell products to you.
For more information please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_beacon