How I Configure Mozilla Firefox for Privacy

By Eric Lathrop on

I believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and I set up technology to help enforce my privacy on the internet. I use Firefox as my web browser because it's open source and not run by an advertising company. A web browser is a user agent, meaning it works for the user. Here are the settings I configure to help me be private on the web.

Built-in Settings

Default Search Engine

I set my search engine to DuckDuckGo because it at least claims to respect my privacy, and it only does the one thing, so it can't follow me around the web to track me.

  1. Edit -> Preferences -> Search -> Default Search Engine
  2. Change to DuckDuckGo

The panel where you can change the default search engine

Enhanced Tracking Protection

I disable 3rd party cookies, because they're mostly used for tracking, and disabling them breaks very few sites.

  1. Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Enhanced Tracking Protection
  2. Set to Custom
  3. Cookies -> All third-party cookies (may cause websites to break)

The panel where you can change 3rd party cookiesettings

HTTPS-Only Mode

I enable HTTPS-Only Mode to force all connections to be encrypted with HTTPS. With the availability of Let's Encrypt, there's no excuse for sites to use unecrypted HTTP.

  1. Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> HTTPS-Only Mode
  2. Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all windows

The panel where you can change HTTPS-Only mode

Browser Add-ons

I use a number of privacy-enhancing add-ons.

Firefox Multi-Account Containers

This add-on lets you confine sites to separate containers so tracking won't work between two different containers.

Temporary Containers

This add-on automatically creates and destroys containers when you open a link or create a tab.

Cookie AutoDelete

Automatically deletes cookies when you close a tab.

uBlock Origin

Most things that are trying to track you on the web are related to advertising. uBlock blocks advertisements and many tracking scripts.

ClearURLs

This add-on strips tracking parameters in links you open.

LocalCDN

Many sites will load code from a content delivery network (CDN), which makes it possible for the CDN to track you across all sites that use it. This add-on blocks many popular CDN-hosted scripts and forces sites to use a local copy.

Privacy Redirect

This site will redirect pages from popular sites like Twitter and YouTube to privacy-respecting alternative frontends that don't track you.

Redirect AMP to HTML

AMP is a web technology created by Google that has a (probably intentional) side-effect of moving lots of content to Google's servers. This extension redirects you from AMP pages to the original HTML pages, which probably aren't on Google's servers.