How to protect yourself against malware and phishing websitesopen all
What for: To keep your protection up to date.
By default, Firefox automatically checks for updates and installs these immediately upon availability — even if you are not using the browser. Developers consistently add new features and fix vulnerabilities, so it is important to use the latest version of the app. Make sure you have automatic update installation enabled on your smartphone (and in the background, too).
- Open Settings;
- Scroll down and open the App Store menu;
- In the Automatic Downloads section, enable Apps and App Updates.
Downside: All apps, not just Firefox, will be updated automatically. It may use up a lot of your data plan.
How to hide your data from prying eyesopen all
What for: To leave no tracks.
Firefox normally stores data about the pages you open, the passwords you enter and other browser usage information. If you want to hide that information from whoever gains access to your smartphone or when using someone else's device, switch to private browsing:
- Tap the square in the bottom panel;
- Tap the mask icon in the lower left part of the screen to turn on private browsing mode;
- To open a new private tab, tap the plus icon on the right.
You may want to turn on Close Private Tabs in the Settings menu to have the browser delete your history automatically when you exit Private Browsing.
Keep in mind that private browsing only applies to data stored by the browser itself. Your Internet service provider or your employer (in case you are connected to an enterprise network) will be able to see what pages you have visited.
How to keep corporations out of your businessopen all
What for: To find a balance between privacy and comfort.
Website owners and advertising companies are eager to gather as much information about you as possible. To do this, they use various tracking tools, such as:
- Social media trackers — snippets of code that social networks post on their own and third-party websites. For example, Facebook might embed this type of code in the "share" button on a news portal to find out what websites you visit and track your interests.
- Cookies — small objects containing information about your system and page settings that the website saves on your device.
- Fingerprinters — scripts that record information about your browser and device, such as the screen resolution, system language, installed extensions and other settings.
- Other tracking elements — code snippets embedded in website content, such as banners, buttons, video players and other page elements.
Using the collected data, various companies create a unique profile of your device to remember your website settings and serve up targeted advertising.
Firefox blocks some of these scripts by default and prevents browser-based cryptominers — malicious objects that attackers use to make money at the expense of your device's resources without your permission — from running.
You can turn on a stricter protection mode to further thwart surveillance or customize the protection to meet your needs.
- Tap the three-line button in the lower right corner of the screen;
- Select Settings;
- Go to the Privacy section and tap Tracking Protection.
- Select the level that best suits you:
- Standard (default). Firefox will block social media trackers, cross-website cookies, fingerprinters and cryptominers on all open pages. It will also block other trackers, but only in private browsing windows.
- Strict. Firefox will block social media trackers, cross-website cookies, fingerprinters, cryptominers and other trackers on all pages.
Bear in mind that blocking all cookies and trackers can stop some Web pages from functioning properly. Disable tracking prevention for such Web pages if you are sure they are safe:
- Tap the shield icon to the left of the address bar;
- In the drop-down menu, disable Enhanced Tracking Protection.