Saturday, July 21, 2018

How to Change Firefox Privacy Settings

This is a short tutorial on how to change the Privacy settings for the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

 

 

Click on the Orange Firefox button, then Options and then the second Options Menu item.
options-menu

Some users may have changed the Firefox menu from the default to the classic menu.  If the customer does not have an Orange Firefox button,click on Tools and then Options.
options-menu2

This will bring up the Options window
options-window

Click on the Privacy icon in the icon menu
options-window2

This will display the privacy options window
privacy-window

There are three primary options for how Firefox will handle browsing history and cookies.

The first option is "Remember History".  With this option Firefox will remember all browsing, download, form and search history.  Firefox will also keep {tip Cookie::A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.::Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.}cookies{/tip} from all websites that are visited.
privacy-window

The second option is "Never Remember History".  With this option Firefox will not remember any browsing, download, form or search history.  Firefox will also delete {tip Cookie::A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.::Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.}cookies{/tip} from all websites that are visited.  This option will prompt a user to enter a verification code with each visit.
privacy-window-do-not-remember-history

The third option is "Use Custom Settings for History".  With this option there are many different way that Firefox can be configured to handle history and {tip Cookie::A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.::Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.}cookies{/tip}.
privacy-window-custom-settings1

Let's go through each of the options:

  • Always use private browsing mode - this option will set Firefox in Private Browsing Mode.  With private browsing mode, firefox will not remember any history and will not store cookies for visited websites
  • Remember my {tip Browsing History::This is a log of all websites that have been visited.}browsing{/tip} and {tip Download History::This is a log of all files that have been downloaded.}download history{/tip} - this option is an override for Private Browsing Mode (see above).  By selelcting this option, Firefox will still be in Private Browsing Mode, but will remember browsing and download history.
  • Remember search and form history - this option is an override for Private Browsing Mode (see above).  By selelcting this option, Firefox will still be in Private Browsing Mode, but will remember search and form history.
  • Accept cookies from sites - this option is an override for Private Browsing Mode (see above).  By selecting this option, Firefox will accept and store cookies from websites.  In addition, the user may set sites to specifically allow or disallow the storing of cookies, by using the Exceptions button (as shown below).
  • Accept third-party cookies - this option is an additional configuration option when accepting cookies.  Some sites will use {tip Third Party Cookie::Third-party cookies are cookies that are set by a website other than the one you are currently on. For example, cnn.com might have a Facebook like button on their site. That like button will set a cookie that can be read by Facebook. That would be considered a third-party cookie.}third-party cookies{/tip} for tracking their facebook likes.
  • Keep until - this option will set how long {tip A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.::Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.}cookies{/tip} are kept.  This is one location where cookies can be cleared upon exit of Firefox. 
  • Clear history when Firefox closes - this option will delete all browsing, download, form and search history, along with all {tip Cookie::A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.::Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.}cookies{/tip}.  The settings options will allow the user to modify what items are deleted on exit on an individual basis (as shown below).

cookie-exceptions-window
Cookie Exceptions Window (as shown both of the FNB Bank domains are set to allow cookies).

settings-for-clearing-history
Settings for clearing history when firefox closes.