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Securing Firefox

Posted by cotojo on July 11, 2007


How to avoid hacker attacks on Mozilla’s Firefox browser

Constant security problems with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser helped pave the way for Mozilla Firefox to emerge as an alternative browser for surfers.

However, Firefox users should be aware that hackers can exploit software flaws and design features to launch attacks.

The following configuration changes can disable various features and set up the browser to run in a secure state, limiting the damage from malware attacks.

To get started, select Tools, then Options.

In the General tab, you can manually set your home page and check to ensure Firefox is your default browser.

In the Privacy tab, select the Cookies sub-category. Here you can disable cookies or change your preferences for how the browser handles them. It is recommended that you enable cookies for the original site only.

Also, by enabling the option ‘unless I have removed cookies set by the site’, a website can be “blacklisted” from setting cookies when its cookies are removed manually.

It is recommended that you do not use the Firefox feature to store passwords. If you decide to use the feature, be sure to use the measures available to protect the password data on your computer.

Under Firefox’s Privacy category, the Passwords subcategory contains various options to manage stored passwords, and a Master Password feature to encrypt the data on your system. Use this option only if you decide to let Firefox manage your passwords. Alternatively use Clipperz or RoboForm

From the Content category, you can configure Firefox to block pop-ups and warn when websites try to install extensions or themes.

You should also Disable Java unless required by the site you wish to visit. You should determine if this site is trustworthy and whether you want to enable Java to view the site’s content. Click on “Advanced” to disable specific JavaScript features.

It is recommended that you disable all of the options displayed in this dialog.
Firefox’s Downloads tab offers the option to change actions taken when files are downloading.

Any time a file type is configured to open automatically with an associated application, this can make the browser more dangerous to use.

Vulnerabilities in these associated applications can be exploited more easily when they are configured to open automatically. Click the View & Edit Actions button to view the current download settings and modify them if necessary.

The Download Actions dialog shows the file types and the actions the browser will perform when it encounters a given file type. For any file type listed, click on either Remove Action or Change Action.

If you click on Change Action, select Save them on my computer to save files of that type to the computer. This helps prevent automated exploitation of vulnerabilities that may exist in these applications. Anti-Virus program before executing them.

Firefox includes a feature to Clear Private Data to give users the option to remove potentially sensitive information from the web browser. Click on Tools, then Save Private data to find the settings (Ctrl+Shift+Del)

This is where you can configure Firefox to remove potentially sensitive data from the browser.

Place checkmark in the following boxes:
Browsing History
Saved Form Information
Cookies
Cache
Authenticated Sessions
Ask me before clearing private data.

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3 Responses to “Securing Firefox”

  1. You can take some precautions as follow.

    Be careful in choosing the download of any software, patch or plugin. It should be from authentic resource.

    Be specific in browsing the web sites. some illegal sites may harm your browser.

    Use automatic updating of your operating system to keep your machine up to date.

    Use latest version of antispyware.

  2. […] read more | digg story […]

  3. […] Link to Article firefox Securing Firefox » Posted at Free PC Security on Wednesday, July 11, […]

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