How to Improve Your Firefox Privacy Settings for Secure Browsing

Change these settings in Firefox for the best private web browsing experience. 

firefox website screenshot

Make these changes to Firefox's settings for the best private web browsing experience. 

With a just a tiny amount of tweaking, Mozilla Firefox becomes the most private and secure mainstream web browser (not including Tor or other Firefox-based browsers). When configured right, it’s open-source, blocks ads and trackers, forces HTTPS, and more.

Firefox also makes it easy to install additional privacy-focused extensions for even more privacy protection.  

The best part is, these changes are free, easy, and can be completed in less than 5 minutes. Here’s how to make Firefox as safe as it can be.

How to Adjust Your Firefox Settings to Maximize Privacy and Security

You can make Firefox a lot safer just by altering a few of its built-in settings. You’ll find these by opening the Menu from the top-right corner of your browser window and then selecting Options.

Once you’re in the Options menu, use the sidebar on the left to select Privacy & Security – and then make these simple tweaks. 

Blocking Trackers in Firefox Settings

Changing these settings will tell Firefox to block websites and other parties that may be trying to track your online activity.

  1. Under Tracking Protection, select Always 
     
  2. Under Send websites a “Do Not Track” signal that you don’t want to be tracked, select Always 
     

Securing Your Browsing History

Firefox will automatically clear your browsing History every time you close the browser if you enable either of the following options.

  1. Under History, use the dropdown menu to select Firefox will… Use custom settings for history; from there, make sure that Always use private browsing mode is enabled 
     
  2. Under History, use the dropdown menu to select Firefox will… Never remember history 
     

Blocking Pop-Up Windows

Pop-ups are not only annoying, they’re a security risk. Block them under Permissions by enabling:

  • Block pop-up windows
  • Warn you when websites try to install add-ons
  • Prevent accessibility services from accessing your browser 
     

Enhancing Security and Blocking Potential Threats

To help protect yourself from potential malware, phishing, and other attacks, enable these settings under Security:

  • Block dangerous and deceptive content

This should automatically select the two options below it. If not, check them as well. 
 

Stop Autofilling, Password Saving, and URL Suggestions

Stop Firefox from remembering your password and making autofill suggestions based on your browsing history.

  1. Under Forms & Passwords, uncheck any of the checked boxes 
     
  2. Under Address Bar, uncheck any of the checked boxes
     

Change Your Default Search Engine

By selecting Search in the left sidebar of the Options menu, you can change your default search engine for your Firefox address and search bars.


Using Firefox’s about:config Settings to Really Lock Down Your Privacy

To access the about:config settings, simply type about:config into the URL bar and press enter. You’ll get a warning message. Click I accept the risk!
 

Disabling WebRTC

WebRTC is a JavaScript-based protocol that can end up leaking your IP address. If you’re using a VPN, this isn’t a huge deal (you can read about the best VPNs for stopping WebRTC leaks), but it’s still a good idea to fix it.

From the about:config menu, simply:

  1. Find media.peerconnection.enabled 
     
  2. Double click it, so that the Value changes to false 
     
  3. Use this WebRTC leak test to make sure it’s fixed (if no IP addresses are shown, you’re good to go!) 
     

This should stop any WebRTC leaks, but you can also tweak these settings to make sure.

  • Set media.peerconnection.identity.timeout to 1
  • Set media.peerconnection.turn.disable to true
  • Set media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers to false
  • Set media.peerconnection.video.enabled to false

Wrap-Up

Taking these steps to change your settings will make your Firefox browser as safe and private as it can be. 

To bring your privacy game up to the next level, you should also consider installing a number of privacy-enhancing extensions or add-ons for Firefox too. 

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