Securing Firefox

512px-Firefox_Logo,_2017.svg

One of the most used applications on your computer is your web browser. Although Firefox is a great browser that respects the user’s privacy. Using default settings in Firefox can result in some security and tracking flaws. After a few minor changes in Firefox’s settings results in a more secure browsing experience.

 

Step 1: Privacy & Security

  • Open a new Firefox Session, then navigate to the “Menu” button (3 horizontal bars). Located in the far-right corner of the browser window.
  • Select the “Settings” option with the cog icon.
  • Lastly, click on Privacy & Security.

Or enter about:preferences#privacy into your address bar.

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Step 2: Forms & Passwords

  • Deselect [Remember logins and passwords for websites] and [Use a master password].

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When browsers store passwords for you, they are insecurely kept.

Using a third-party password manager like LastPass or KeePassXC is a better option. Third party password managers sole purpose is to secure passwords. They put a great deal of effort into making sure credentials remain secure.

 

Step 3: History

  • Use the drop-down box next to “Firefox will” to select [Use custom settings for history].
  • Make sure all options are deselected EXCEPT [Clear History when Firefox closes].

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Those options will clear all saved browsing history data after you close down your Firefox session.

 

Step 4: Cookies and Site Data

  • Select [Accept cookies and site data from websites].
  • To the right of “Keep Until” select [I close Firefox].
  • Select [Never] from the “Accept third-party cookies and site data” drop down.

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These options clear stored cookies from websites after the Firefox session ends.

 

Step 5: Tracking Protection

  • Ensure you have [Always] selected, to block tracking from site to site.

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Step 6: Firefox Data Collection and Use

  • Make sure both options are unchecked.

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Although Firefox is respectful of user privacy. keeping these options unchecked, prevents Firefox from exporting session data for their use.

 

Step 7: Configuration Settings

  • In your address bar, type “about:config”
  • Click Accept the Risk.
  • Use the Search bar to find the settings listed below.
  • Then double click to change from True to False.

This menu allows for more granular customization.

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  • Privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = TRUE

This setting enables tracking protecting, that blocks websites from tracking you.


  • Media.peerconection.enabled = FALSE
  • Media.peerconection.turn.disable = TRUE
  • Media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = FALSE
  • Media.peerconnection.video.enabled = FALSE

The media settings help prevent your IP address from getting leaked.


  • Geo.enabled = FALSE

This option will prevent Firefox from accessing and using your location.


  • dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = TRUE

This will prevent websites from viewing what you have copied to your clipboard from their site. Could cause some copy paste issues from sites.


  • dom.battery.enabled = FALSE

The battery setting prevents websites from viewing your battery percentage.


  • browser.safebrowsing.phishing.enabled = FALSE
  • browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled = FALSE

These safe browsing options prevent Google from using the websites you visit for malware and phishing purposes. This option will disable phishing and safe browsing from google.


  • media.navigator.enabled = FALSE

This last option prevents websites from accessing microphone, webcam, and more from being tracked.

 

 

Thank you for reading!

If you have any comments, questions, ideas, or concerns

Leave a reply below or message me.

Sources:
 “Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information.” Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information, by Michael Bazzell, Inteltechniques.com, 2018, pp. 6–7. 

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