Configuring Firefox

This portion of the Installing ArcoLinux eBook is all about tweaking Firefox. The previous entry instructed you to update your system and while waiting for the updates to download, we are going to configure and tweak Firefox.

A default Firefox install is probably not what you want unless you are OK with Firefox installing studies in your browser and uploading date for analysys. The good news os that everything can be configured according to the security level one wants to achieve.
If you want a fast and optimized Firefox web browser, then implement what ever you find valuable and I will do my best to document the changes I make to my setup.

Part 1 : Preferences

Home, Search, Privacy & Security

uBock OriginFirst, I open up preferences via the menu button located at the right upper corner of the browser window. Under the “Home” tab. From there, I disable:

  • Recommended by Pocket
  • Highlights
  • Snippets
configure firefox home tab
If you implement all of the tweaks on this page, then the Firefox homepage will only give your a search field.

Search Engine : DuckDuckGo

Under the Search tab, I deselect all search suggestions. Note that this is up to you. Leaving search suggestions on exposes me to tracking which I don’t particularly care bout.

In addition, I select DuckDuckGo as my search engine instead of Google. Again, it’s up to you. DuckDuckGo says that they don’t save user searches. Do we believe that? I don’t know but my main reason for using “the duck” as a search engine is simply based on the fact that the search results seem to be more accurate then what google finds.

uBock OriginPrivacy & Security

First, I switch the Enhanced Tracking Protection from Standard to Strict. I ignore the warning about breaking websites because the sites I visit work just fine. And if not, I can always make an exception for a specific site.

Under History, I select “Use custom settings for history” and check “Always use private browsing mode” and then I clear the history. Everything!

Address Bar
I deselect everything. No Browsing history, Bookmarks and no Open tabs.

Permissions
I prevent websites specifically from accessing my Location , Camera and Microphone by clicking on Settings and checking the Block new requests check box on location, camera and microphone.

Firefox Data Collection and Use
I uncheck all.

Part 2 : Plugins

uBlock Origin (add-on)

I only install one add-on and for the last couple of years, uBock Origin and done the trick for me. To get started, chose Add-on from the Firefox menu and type “block” into the search box. Because uBlock Origin is so popular, it will be the top search result. Agree and OK the prompts to add it.

firefox ublock add-on

Privacy Badger
I hear good things about “Privacy Badger” but I don’t want to load up Firefox with more than what is needed. If you have additional requirements, then feel free to evaluate additional plugins.

If you need more privacy then download the Tor browser from the official site, extract it and run it instead of Firefox. Please understand that in order to get the most out of Tor, you need to read up on the topic. Faling to do so will remove all of the advantages that the tor browser offers.
Example. Let’s say you install the tor browser, load it and then change the default windows size. Boom! You just gave your browser a unique (window) dimension. This value makes you unique and being unique means that you are easily tracked. Read up on tor and best practices before using it.

Reboot

I started this article stating that you should configure Firefox while ArcoLinux is updating. I hope that you’ve kept an eye on the update process (terminal) and if you did, then the updates should be finished by now. If so, then reboot your computer so that the new kernel and graphics drivers get loaded.

That’s about all the changes I make to Firefox. In later sections, I will explain how to launch firefox in a sandbox. Thanks for reading. Comment if you have questions and suggestions. This link will take you back to the main index page

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