When You Get Paranoid

I have become generally paranoid about my workstation at work. Most likely because my department has handed over IT function to a new guy. I started off by making a PGP drive and moving all my files over to it. I then cleared all my caches, histories, temp files, passwords and cookies. Then the ole PGP Disk wipe. The problem is, I hate having to type in all my passwords, etc. What to do?

I saw somewhere something (can’t remember where) about portable browser. So I did a search, and found links to JohnHaller.com. He writes the way cool awesome Portable Firefox. It runs as an .exe without being installed. It is designed to run off of a USB key, so you can take your fav browser with you wherever you go. And it leaves no tracks on the host system. Being paranoid now, I figured I could use this to my advantage locally as well. I “installed” it to my PGP drive, imported all my bookmarks, then uninstalled the main Firefox installation.

It runs great, all the cookies and passwords, etc are kept on an encrypted drive. I even installed a couple of plugins. There are some drawbacks, I can’t really make it my default web browser, and the shortcut icons disappear until I mount the drive. However, if you set it to check if it the default web browser on startup, it’s only one extra click. Links open up in new tabs no problem (when clicked from other apps like Yahoo messenger.)

I also put it on my USB SecureDrive, along with Portable Thunderbird. This makes it much easier for checking work mail when not on my own systems, as I usually need to monitor two seperate accounts, webmail makes that extremely hard to do. Runs the same as a regular install, only saves everything on the key.

Both apps must use relative paths, as they are unaffected by the changing drive letter using a USB key brings.

Check em out.

~ by kinshay on 2005-07-22.

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