Watch out for the Firefox Add-on from Skype called Browser Highlighter.
I work with a lot of VAs and other professionals around the world so like everyone else I installed Skype. Apparently when I did this, it also installed a sneaky unwanted guest in the form of a Firefox Add-in called Browser Highlighter. It’s name sounds innocent enough, but it’s anything but.
I’ve been having odd problems with the WordPress Visual editor for quite a while. I won’t go into the details but I had trouble with HTML breaking for no apparent reason plus the addition of some unusual code at the bottom of new pages and posts. I didn’t think much of it and decided to do something about it one day when I have time.
Today I had to call Aweber tech support because I’ve been unable to create text-only messages in their system. After working through the problem with a very helpful rep he said that something keeps applying hidden html code to each message…even when I didn’t touch the HTML editor. When I looked at the source tab in the HTML editor I saw that same strange code that was being applied to my WordPress posts.
The Aweber rep said that their team had just discovered that this additional code is being inserted by the Browser Highlighter Firefox Add-on when WordPress is open at the same time. I even tried deleting the HTML from an Aweber message and it kept coming back. Talk about gremlins.
I followed Aweber’s instructions to disable the Browser Highlighter and restart Firefox . So far it looks like it worked. I even created some new WordPress posts and pages to be sure the unwanted code was gone and it was.
To disable Browser Highlighter just choose Tools from the FireFox menu bar, click on Add-ons and look for Browser Highlighter (mine was right under Skype). Then click the Disable button and choose Restart when prompted.
Now I’ll have to see if it fixed my editing problems.
I did a quick Google search about this issue and see there’s quite a firestorm surrounding Skype’s behavior in this whole mess. It appears they have been quite the bad actor. I guess when you’re the 900 pound gorilla you can get away with things like this.
Here are some links to other blog posts about Browser Highlighter.
This one is from the Skype Community, they’re not happy.
Blogger Rich Strahl wrote this very informative post about Browser Highlighter a couple months ago.
I haven’t had a chance to research tihs, but I saw a few posts that there can be problems if you try to uninstall it altogether. Here’s link to PPMartin’s blog about the issue.
If you have anything to add please do.