We have previously shared a few addons for your browser to secure your online connection and protect your online privacy. For those who prefer a simple set-and-leave-it method, Cocoon is an useful extension that you can use.
Rather than blocking scripts and preventing sites from writing cookies to your browser, Cocoon works like a shield that sits between you and the outside World. Once you start a Cocoon session, all your web requests will be handled by Cocoon and you will become anonymous to the Web. This is similar to connecting via a secure VPN or proxy server, except that there are little or zero configuration required.
To get started, simply go the Cocoon website and install the addon. It is currently available for Firefox and IE.
Once you have installed the extension and restarted your browser, you should see a toolbar appear at the top of the browser. To start a Cocoon session, you have to first register for a Cocoon account, then login to your account in the toolbar.
After you have logged in, it will immediately connect itself to a secure proxy server and switch your browser to Private Mode. From here, you can proceed to surf the Web like normal and with the knowledge that you are now behind a proxy server and your browsing session is secured.
While browsing the web, there is also this nifty feature that allows you to add a note for the site. All the notes are saved in your Cocoon account. Regardless which computer you are using, as long as you are signed into your Cocoon account, you can access the notes. There is also a pin for you to bookmark sites.
If you attempt to download an exe file from the Web while on a Cocoon session, you will not be able to do it as Cocoon blocks it as part of their security measures. In addition, all the downloaded files will be scanned for virus and trojan before they reach your computer. The most important of all, it also prevents automatic drive-by-downloads and prevents you from being tricked into manually downloading malware.
In usual Private browsing mode, all your cookies and history will be erased right after you close the session. In Cocoon session, your History is not erased. Instead, you can access your History from the “Settings -> History” tab in the toolbar. Of course, this History Saving feature is optional. You can opt-out of it if you don’t want any of your browsing record to be saved.
Disposable Email Address
Another cool feature of Cocoon is the disposable email address that you can setup and use. Under the Mailslots tab, you can check your Disposable email inbox for any kind of newsletters (or freebies) that you have signed up for. The “Manage” sub-tab is where you can find create disposable address to give out. One thing that I love about this feature is that it is well-integrated into the session. You can create disposable email address on one tab, give it out on another and return to check the emails. There is no need for you to sign in to your personal mailbox to check, or setup another temporary email services from third party sites.
Just like a browser, you can configure the Home page to load when a Cocoon session starts and whether to clear cookies, form fill, history on log out. There is even an option to block Facebook tracking which is pretty useful for those who want to block Facebook, but don’t know how to do it.
Lastly, to log out of Cocoon session, simply click the Power button at the left side of the toolbar. This will log off your Cocoon account and return your browser to the normal mode.
You can either spend hours trying to configure a firewall, VPN or proxy server or just spend a few seconds to start a Cocoon session and stay protected. That is how easy to use Cocoon is. It gives you hassle-free protection and allows you to spend your time on more productive matters. Best of all, you can install on every computer you use and have the same settings throughout.
Cocoon is currently available for Firefox and IE and a mobile version is said to be on the way. It is free (ad-supported) and you can upgrade to the premium plan to remove the ads.