Browser Spying

Protect your personal information from being revealed by your browser.

Browsers

  • We recommend Firefox as the basis for configuring a safe browsing experience.

 

  • We don’t recommend Google or Microsoft browsers since they are tied to companies that have search engines. It is therefore in their vested interest to design their browsers to cooperate as efficiently as possible with their search engines to gain and index the maximum amount of information. Firefox is far from perfect and has its own issues but they can be mitigated as described below.

  • There are other less popular browsers available. However, the uniqueness of these browsers will only aid search engines and web sites in tracking you. Anonymity is based on being one in a sea of many. Niche browsers won’t do that for you.


Tool bar and web site helper applications

Having tool bars from various companies or web site helper plug-ins installed on your browser will defeat all of the things mentioned below. Having a Toolbar from Google, Yahoo, etc. is an open invitation to track everything you do. Also, logging into a Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft or similar account will instantly allow them to track you.


How to prevent your browser from sending information to web sites


After following the steps below, you’ll be much harder to track. Coupled with our VPN service to mask your IP address and private email service, your Internet footprint will be as minimal as possible.

 

  • Cookies and history are the oldest of the tracking methods. Modern websites will not work well without them but they need to be managed.

 

  • See the settings below to begin the process of making your browser more private and secure it from snooping.  Do not enable Private Browsing Mode under any circumstances.  Private Browsing mode is a false sense of security.


Go to either "Edit"  "Preferences" or ""Tools" "Options" depending on your operating system.

Select "General"

Select "Home"

Select "Search"

Delete all search engines except DuckDuckGo

Select "Privacy & Security"

For each of the options below (Location, Camera, Microphone, Notifications, Autoplay)  Click on settings and use the settings shown in the next image.

Now add the plug-in No Script

This will prevent server-side scripts from running in your browser without your permission. This plug-in blocks all java scripts from running on web pages. This is both a privacy and security plug-in. By preventing the applications from running the instant you visit a page, there is little risk of malware affecting you in the background if you go to a compromised site.

Modern web sites have hidden links to a multitude of other web sites. Many of these scripts that load have nothing to do with the function of the site you are visiting. They are scripts that connect you to other sites like FaceBook, Google, Double Click, Twitter, etc. This allows these outside sites to track your activity across the Internet even though you never went to their site. By only allowing the essential java scripts that make the desired web site function, while preventing the others, you increase your privacy significantly.

After installing this plug-in most sites will not operate properly. You have to train the browser for each site you visit as to what to allow and not allow. No Script will give you a nice drop down menu telling you what sites are attempting to run scripts and then you can pick the ones that apply to the site you are on while rejecting the trackers.

By default No Script allows well known sites to operate freely. We suggest you change the default setting to restrict everything and then set all permissions manually. For example, If you go to a website that uses Google Analytics to track their visitors then Google will try to load google-analytics.com and run the java script to track you. If you have this disabled in No Script then you are less trackable without any functionality loss. All the search engines, tracking sites and social networking sites operate the same way. All of them are out to get every last bit of information on you in order to make money.  See the Example below.

Many privacy and security settings need to be Configured within the Firefox settings editor.  To complete your browser privacy and security set up follow the steps below.

Some of these changes can affect the way web pages operate or make them look somewhat different.   A small price to pay for security and privacy.

In the browser address bar type about:config and press enter.

Accept the warning about harming your system and be careful what changes you make.

Type in each of the following strings in the About:config seach bar.  After you find each one either toggle it to the setting shown or modify the value to the number shown.

beacon.enabled   -   toggle false

network.prefetch-next   -   toggle false

network.dns.disablePrefetch   -   toggle true

browser.send_pings   -   toggle false

geo.enabled   -   toggle false

webgl.disabled   -   toggle true

browser.sessionstore.interval   -   add 4 zeros

browser.cache.disk.enable   -   toggle false

browser.cache.memory.enable   -   toggle true

Network.http.sendRefererHeader   -   modify to 0

dom.storage.enabled   -   toggle false

browser.sessionhistory.max_entries   -   modify to somewhere between 5 or 10. The bigger the number the more pages are stored.

media.peerconnection.enabled   -   toggle false

security.ssl.require_safe_negotiation   -   toggle true

security.ssl.treat_unsafe_negotiation_as_broken   -   toggle true

browser.cache.disk_cache_ssl   -   toggle false

browser.cache.offline.enable   -   toggle false

dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled   -   toggle false

Plug in scan (Windows Only)  Type plugin.scan.plid.all   -   toggle false

browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand   -   toggle false

browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash   -   toggle false

privacy.resistFingerprinting    -   toggle true

privacy.trackingprotection.fingerprinting.enabled   -   toggle true

privacy.trackingprotection.cryptomining.enabled   -   toggle true

media.navigator.enabled   -   toggle false

network.cookie.lifetimePolicy   -   modify to 2

dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled   -   toggle false

media.eme.enabled   -   toggle false

browser.cache.memory.capacity     (if it doesnt exist create a new rule)

    Right-click on the blank area in Firefox About:Config screen, then select New - Integer.
    Make this the preference name:       browser.cache.memory.capacity
    Enter the integer value of 409600

 

 

 

The above settings should be considered the minimum required to a secure and private browser. We recommend the following plugins as additional defense methods. All of these can be installed via the FireFox plug-ins menu.

 

  • HTTPS Everywhere - See tetup image below.  (Published by EFF The ELectronic Frontier Fundation) 

  • DuckDuck Go Privacy Esentials   (Published by DuckDuckGo)

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