Safe browsing in Firefox is easy with a few steps. Firefox is a great alternative web browser for IE in Windows or Safari on the Mac. Many people prefer it over other browsers. With any web browser, however, you need to make sure you are surfing as securely as possible, especially in this age of portable computers. Although these tips can help make you more secure in Firefox, they also apply to any web browser you might be using. Sometimes the default configuration is not always the safest.
Tweak Security Settings In Firefox
The following should help ensure you are running a safe Firefox web browser. Since the web browser is one mode of penetration for hackers and snoops, you want to make sure the only information you’re making available is the information you want websites to know about.
- Always make sure you’re running the latest version of Firefox. Within Firefox, click Help, then Check For Updates. The browser will go out and check the current release for your Operating System. If there is an update, you will receive a notice.
Or, under the Advanced tab, set the updates to automatically download and install.
- You should also configure how your Firefox web browser handles cookies and history. If you prefer not to have Firefox remember your browser history, you can configure it to never remember your history.
To do this, click on Tools, then Options, and then select Never Remember History from the drop down menu. If you do want to have Firefox remember your history, you should at least disable third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are cookies placed on the website you are viewing by advertisers.
To disable third-party cookies, look under the Privacy tab again and select Use custom setting for history from the drop down menu. You can then un-check the Accept third-party cookies box. Now, Firefox will allow cookies from the websites you visit, but not for the advertisers that place ads on those sites.
- When performing any financial transactions, make sure your web browser is displaying the padlock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your Firefox window. In addition, make sure the web URL in the address bar begins with https://. The “s” indicates it is a secure connection. Lastly, never click on links in emails–visit your bank or other secure site by physically typing in the address. If you do not, you run the risk of being redirected to a site posing as the site you wanted to visit and your account details could be stolen.
- Remove unused add-ons. Firefox users love to use extension, as they can improve the functionality of the web browser. Add-ons are usually third-party programs running inside of Firefox. Only use those add-ons you trust and remove those you no longer use anymore. Check your add-ons by going to Tools>Add-ons>Extensions.
- Lastly, check the Firefox Known Vulnerabilities site to see if there are any critical bugs you need to be concerned about. If one of them apply to the type of web browsing you do, you should click the link to show fixes for the issue.
Click here to visit the Known Vulnerabilities site for the Firefox web browser.
In conclusion, Firefox is a great web browser and can be used for many different platforms. But like any web browser, there are security concerns. To make your Firefox web browser safe, be sure to follow the steps in this article and use common sense to avoid phishing scams and other malware that can compromise your browser and your PC.