In the last part of browser safety series we learned about Google Chrome. Now, let’s check out some security features built into Mozilla Firefox.

Even though Firefox has some great security features that make it one of the preferred browser of choice, we can make it safer using some built in options.

  1. Turn on Firefox’s “Do Not Track” feature:

    There is a privacy-related feature in Firefox that tells websites that you don’t want to have your actions tracked by the websites that you visit.
    To enable this feature:

    • Click on the Firefox “Preferences” menu.
    • Choose the “Privacy” tab.
    • Check the box “Tell websites that I don’t to be tracked”
  2. Make sure websites can’t install addons.

    Malicious websites could try to install addons without your knowledge, which can then track your browsing and compromise your confidential data. To prevent this, go to Preferences > Security, and enable “Warn me when sites try to install addons.”

  3. Turn on Firefox’s Phishing and Malware Blocking features:

    This feature checks the site you are connecting to against a list of known Phishing or Malware sites and alerts you if the page is known to be malicious. This list is updated every 30 minutes in order to stay current.

    To enable this feature:

    • Click on Firefox “Preferences” menu.
    • Choose “Security” tab.
    • Check the boxes for “Block reported attack sites” and “Block reported web forgeries”.
  4. Check and update plug-ins:

    Cyber criminals regularly use vulnerabilities in popular browser plug-ins (like Java and Adobe products) to infect and invade computers. Most plug-in regularly release updates to patch security holes. Many plug-ins are set by default to update automatically or at least notify you when updates are available.

  5. Enable a Master Password:

    Like other browsers, Firefox allows anyone who accesses your computer to log in to sites where you have saved the passwords. A list of the saved usernames and passwords can be viewed via the Options menu of Firefox.

    However, Firefox fortunately offers a master password feature that encrypts and password-protects the saved password list (funny, isn’t it?). When this feature is enabled, you must enter the master password in order to view/update your passwords.

  6. Use a strong password for Syncing:

    Similar to Chrome, Firefox has a syncing feature to sync your bookmarks, passwordsk etc. to your other computers and devices running Firefox. To use syncing in Firefox, you must log in with your Firefox Sync password and take the recovery key from a device you’ve already set up and input that key into the new device.

    To enable or change Sync settings:
    Open Firefox menu, select Options and select the Sync tab.

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