5 Firefox Settings to Keep You Safer Online

When you browse the Internet, you leave a trail of personal data behind. Here at Mozilla we value your security and privacy on the Web. That’s why we have so many features built into the browser to keep you safe and secure online. Here are just a few of those features, and how to make them work for you.

  • Do Not Track: Many sites track your online behavior and sell that data to advertisers. If that makes you uncomfortable, Firefox lets you tell sites you want to opt out of that tracking and keep your browsing habits private. When you turn on Do Not Track, Firefox tells every website you visit (as well as their advertisers and other content providers) that you don’t want your browsing behavior tracked. It’s up to that site whether to honor your request, but the more people that tell the site, the more likely that site will listen.  Learn how to opt-out of tracking.

  • Clear your history (or just a single site): As you browse the web, Firefox helpfully remembers lots of information for you to make browsing easier (we don’t sell that data.) All of this information is called your history. But then oops! You clicked a link expecting one thing and you got another. You can delete that single site from your history. Or, you can delete your entire history. This article gives step-by-step instructions on how to manage your browsing history.

  • Private Browsing: Sometimes, it’s nice to go undercover on the Web. Private Browsing allows you to browse the Internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited. Learn how to protect your browsing history.

  • Customized security options: We give you control the level of scrutiny you’d like Firefox to give a site with a variety of customized settings. Learn how to take control with your security settings.

  • The Site Identity Button: This is a Firefox security feature that gives you more information about the sites you visit. A color-coded system makes it easy to check on suspicious sites and avoid Web forgeries. Learn more about how to use the Site Identity Button.

These are just a few of the security features included in Firefox. Read more about our commitment to your privacy and security.

5 Top Tab Tips for Firefox

Hello, my name is Carmen, and I am a super tab user on Firefox.

Since my job is to give you some of the best tips and tricks for using Firefox here on The Den, I wanted to share my top tips for tabs.

There are some settings in the Preferences window that I suggest you make sure are turned on (though there are more available that you may find useful.) You can see how to adjust your tab settings here.

Tabs

  • Open new windows in a new tab: If you have a lot of sites open at the same time, a lot of windows can mean things get buried and are hard to find. I like opening new windows in a tab instead. Make sure to check this box in Preferences if you agree.

  • Warn me when closing multiple tabs: When you close a window with multiple tabs, Firefox asks “are you sure?” This prevents you from accidentally closing the whole window when you intended to only close the current tab, or gives you time to bookmark a page before shutting down Firefox so you don’t lose your place online.

  • Don’t load tabs until selected: You can keep your Firefox running fast by selecting the “don’t load tabs until selected” option. Firefox will only load the active tab when it starts or restores your previous session. The other open tabs will be loaded as you click on them.

And there’s more…

 If you’re like me, you probably run out of space on the Tab Strip quickly.  Tab Groups were made for us. They’re great for grouping tabs by task (all your news tabs for instance) and then switching between them. This support article will make you a tab wizard in no time.

For the advanced tab user, there’s also a Firefox Add-on that I find useful. Tab Mix Plus adds even more tab features to your browser. I like the ability to lock a tab, which means if I accidentally click on a link it will open it in a new tab, instead of overwriting the one I’m on. Check it out and see if it’s right for you.

See? There are lots of ways I manage my tabs, and now you can too.

Firefox for Android: More Features on More Phones

If you’ve been waiting to try Firefox for Android, but your device wasn’t supported, you may want to check the list again. With the latest update, Firefox for Android is now supported on 15 million more phones (that’s a lot!) This includes popular phones like LG Optimus One, T-Mobile myTouch 3G slide, HTC Wildfire S and ZTE R750 to name a few.

If you’re a long-time Firefox for Android fan, you may notice something missing. Some have been asking us “Where did the quit button go?” For the latest versions, the quit button was removed to meet the guidelines for apps on the Google Play store. But never fear! There’s a way to get that quit button back. Here are the instructions for adding the quit button.

There are some new features to tell you about as well.

  • Per-tab private browsing: Private Browsing helps you control your personal data by letting you to browse the Web without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited. With the latest enhancements to Firefox for Android, this (much-requested) feature allows you to switch between private and standard tabs within the same mobile browsing session, just like on your desktop. Private browsing data will not show up in your AwesomeBar History or Awesome Screen shortcuts. Learn more about Private browsing on Firefox for Android.

  • Customizable shortcuts on the home screen: Now, you can customize the shortcut images on the home screen with your favorite or most frequently visited sites so they are only a click away. Tap and hold your top sites, tap “pin,” and you’re ready to go. Learn more about customizing Firefox for Android.

If you love Firefox for Android, tell your friends by giving it a 5-star rating in the Google Play Store. That’s also where you can download Firefox for Android for free!

Hidden Fun in Firefox

Sometimes, you just need to blow off a little steam. Act goofy. Laugh. Have fun.

If you need a break from your everyday life, here are some little secret nuggets that are hidden in the Firefox browser that might make you smile.

1. Type About:Mozilla into your URL bar in Firefox. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

What you’ll see is a passage from the Book of Mozilla (Mozilla is the maker of Firefox, you know.) Technically, there is no official book, but if there were, it would tell the story of how Firefox rose from the ashes to take on the big browser beast. You can see more passages here. www.mozilla.org/book/

2. Now, type About:Robots into your URL bar.

What happens next is so much fun, that we don’t want to ruin the surprise by telling you about it here. Keep clicking “Try again.” Make sure to also note the favicon (the little graphic known also known as the Web site icon) and the title of the Web page!

3.  Now, type About:Credits into your URL bar.

Mozilla Firefox isn’t built by just a few people in a building in our offices. We work with thousands of volunteers that help build Firefox as well! This page pays homage to those people. Do you know a name on the list? Is yours there? (If you’d like to be a part of making Firefox, you can volunteer here.)

Combine Your Firefox Search Bar and Address Bar

Firefox is all about empowering you to customize your Web browsing experience. For example, some people like browsing with a separate URL bar and search bar (which is the default), while others would rather combine them.

If you are one of those people who like to streamline things, we’d like to introduce you to a Firefox Add-on.  (Add-ons are little pieces of software that add functionality to your Firefox browser.)

The Foobar add-on lets you integrate the functionality of the search bar into the address bar, making searching and navigation quicker and easier for those who like a combined experience.

Foobar Add-on

And that’s just one of thousands of add-ons that you can implement to customize your Firefox! You can also view this support article for more tips on managing your add-ons.

Private Browsing: Moved and Improved

In a recent blog post, we told you about an enhancement to our Private Browsing feature in the latest version of Firefox for desktop. You can now open a new private window without interrupting your current browsing session.

When we enhanced the Private Browsing experience, we also moved the functionality to the File menu. Just select “New Private Window” from there to give it a try.

(In past versions of Firefox, you’d open a Private Browsing session under Tools. There are more specifics for your computer in this Support article.)

That means that all menu items related to opening a new window or tab are now grouped together under your File menu. We did this to make things easier for you to find.

If you’d rather use a shortcut, we’ve added one for you: Simply right-click any link and select “Open in a New Private Window.”

Go ahead, give it a spin!

New Features, Less Interruption

Firefox has some new features that we think you’ll really like. They let you browse easier, with less interruption.

Private Browsing allows you to surf the Web without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited. Many of you have asked us to expand this feature so you can open a private window without closing the entire session. Our engineers went to work and delivered a new Private Browsing mode that lets you open up a new private window during an existing session.

Using this tool is easy. Look under your File menu and then select New Private Window. More on specifics for your operating system in this support article.

You can also open a link in a private window.  Right click on it and choose Open in a New Private Window.


We’ve also improved the download experience. You know that floating download window that gets lost behind other windows? It’s gone! Now, your downloads are just a click away and easier to find, because you monitor your download progress right in the Firefox toolbar. Let’s take a peek at how it looks!



Last (but in no way least) we’ve added a PDF viewer built right into your browser. It allows you to read PDFs directly within the browser vs opening them separately with a plugin like Reader.  This saves you time and makes for a more integrated browsing experience. Here’s how to set it up.


There you have it! Three new features that mean less interruption for you on the Web.

Set Firefox As Your Default Android Browser

In a previous blog post, we told you how to change your settings to make Firefox the default browser on your computer.  But now, we wanted to let you know that you can also set Firefox for Android as your default browser on your Android device.

Android Default Browser

  • First, clear the current browser that opens links.

  • Then, open a link in an Android application like the mail application and set Firefox to be the default browser to open links.

Don’t know how to do those things? No problem. This support article gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set Firefox for Android as your default mobile browser.

Let These Firefox Add-ons Help You Get Moving

Hello Interwebs! My name is Carmen, and I’m the one of the people behind the messages you read here on the Den.

Jess and Carmen

Jess (left) and Carmen (right)

I want to tell you about a set of Firefox Add-ons (those little bits of software that add functionality to your browser) that my coworker Jess introduced me to that are changing the way I work online.

We are now a world of people who are plugged-in 24/7. We’re always looking at our computer screens and our mobile devices. It helps us stay informed, educated and entertained, so it’s a good thing!

But more and more stories are coming out in the media about how bad it is to sit at our computers/devices all the time. We need to stay active!

Guess what? Firefox gives me (and you) solutions, built right into my browser. That makes it easy to do something about it!

The easiest option is an add-on called Simple Timer. It is super customizable and allows you to select when you want to receive a notification. You can set as many as you want. I set it up to alert me every hour as my reminder to get up!

Then there’s the Take a Break add-on which flashes a little icon every 15 minutes to remind you to take a mini break – close your eyes, look away from the screen, etc. Then a pop-up box will remind you to take a bigger break each hour to stretch, get a drink of water, etc. You can adjust the timers to suit your schedule.

If you’re like me, you know you need to take a break but you don’t know what to do with yourself. That’s why StretchClock holds a special place in my routine. Not only do you get an hourly (that’s customizable) alert, but it gives you a suggested stretch or exercise to get that blood flowing!

There are so many more add-ons to keep you fit and healthy, but these are helping me in my daily routine, so I wanted to share them with you, too!

As always, if you don’t like an add-on after you install it, or you have questions, here is a support article on how to manage your add-ons.

Find Your Firefox Version

Sometimes in our blog posts, we say things like “in the latest version of Firefox, we have these awesome new features for you to enjoy.”

But how do you know if you’re on the latest version of Firefox? In a previous blog post, we explained how Firefox updates automatically, but updates happen over a period of time, and not all at once.

Here’s how you can tell what version you’re on. It’s super easy!

You can find out which version you are using in the About Mozilla Firefox window. The version number is listed below the Firefox name.

Here are instructions for opening your Mozilla Firefox window, depending on your computer.