Web Browsers

These are our current web browser recommendations and some tweaks you can use to preserve your privacy.

Browser Recommendation

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox Firefox is fast, reliable, open source and respects your privacy. Don't forget to adjust the settings according to our recommendations: WebRTC and about:config and get the privacy add-ons.

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Tor Browser - For Experts

Tor Browser - For Experts Tor Browser is your choice if you need an extra layer of anonymity. Its a modified version of Firefox, it comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons, encryption and an advanced proxy. How does Tor work?

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Brave Browser - Complete but Experimental

Brave Browser - Complete but Experimental The new open source browser Brave automatically blocks ads and trackers, making it faster and safer than your current browser. Brave is based on Chromium. experimental

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Browser Fingerprint - Is your browser configuration unique?

Fingerprint image

When you visit a web page, your browser voluntarily sends information about its configuration, such as available fonts, browser type, and add-ons. If this combination of information is unique, it may be possible to identify and track you without using cookies. EFF created a Tool called Panopticlick to test your browser to see how unique it is.

Test your Browser now

You need to find what most browsers are reporting, and then use those variables to bring your browser in the same population. This means having the same fonts, plugins, and extensions installed as the large installed base. You should have a spoofed user agent string to match what the large userbase has. You need to have the same settings enabled and disabled, such as DNT and WebGL. You need your browser to look as common as everyone else. Disabling JavaScript, using Linux, or even the TBB, will make your browser stick out from the masses.

Modern web browsers have not been architected to assure personal web privacy. Rather than worrying about being fingerprinted, it seems more practical to use free software plugins like Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin. They not only respect your freedom, but your privacy also. You can get much further with these than trying to manipulate your browser's fingerprint.

Firefox Addon: CanvasBlocker

Related Information

WebRTC IP Leak Test - Is your IP address leaking?

While software like NoScript prevents this, it's probably a good idea to block this protocol directly as well, just to be safe.

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How to disable WebRTC in Firefox?

In short: Set "media.peerconnection.enabled" to "false" in "about:config".

Explained:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "I'll be careful, I promise!"
  3. Search for "media.peerconnection.enabled"
  4. Double click the entry, the column "Value" should now be "false"
  5. Done. Do the WebRTC leak test again.

If you want to make sure every single WebRTC related setting is really disabled change these settings:

  1. media.peerconnection.turn.disable = true
  2. media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = false
  3. media.peerconnection.video.enabled = false
  4. media.peerconnection.identity.timeout = 1

Now you can be 100% sure WebRTC is disabled.

Test your Browser again

How to fix the WebRTC Leak in Google Chrome?

WebRTC cannot be fully disabled in Chrome, however it is possible to change its routing settings (and prevent leaks) using an extension. Two open source solutions include WebRTC Leak Prevent (options may need to be changed depending on the scenario), and uBlock Origin (select "Prevent WebRTC from leaking local IP addresses" in Settings).

What about other browsers?

Chrome on iOS, Internet Explorer and Safari does not implement WebRTC yet. But we recommend using Firefox on all devices.

Excellent Firefox Privacy Add-ons

Privacy Badger: Stop Tracking

Privacy Badger: Stop Tracking Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. Privacy Badger learns about trackers as you browse. warning

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uBlock Origin: Block Ads and Trackers

uBlock Origin: Block Ads and Trackers uBlock Origin is an efficient wide-spectrum-blocker that's easy on memory, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there. It has no monetization strategy and is completely open source.

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Cookie AutoDelete: Automatically Delete Cookies

Cookie AutoDelete: Automatically Delete Cookies Cookie AutoDelete automatically removes cookies when they are no longer used by open browser tabs. With the cookies, lingering sessions, as well as information used to spy on you, will be expunged.

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HTTPS Everywhere: Secure Connections

HTTPS Everywhere: Secure Connections HTTPS Everywhere encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. A collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Decentraleyes: Block Content Delivery Networks

Decentraleyes: Block Content Delivery Networks Decentraleyes emulates Content Delivery Networks locally by intercepting requests, finding the required resource and injecting it into the environment. This all happens instantaneously, automatically, and no prior configuration is required.

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Terms of Service; Didn’t Read: Be Informed

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read: Be Informed Terms of Service; Didn’t Read “I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. This addon aims to fix that by grading websites based on their Terms of Service agreements and gives short summaries.

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For Experts Only

uMatrix: Stop Cross-Site Requests

uMatrix: Stop Cross-Site Requests uMatrix gives you control over the requests that websites make to other websites. Many websites integrate features which let other websites track you, such as Facebook Like Buttons or Google Analytics.

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NoScript Security Suite: Be in total control

NoScript Security Suite: Be in total control NoScript is a highly customizable plugin to selectively allow JavaScript, Java, and Flash to run only on websites you trust. Not for casual users, it requires technical knowledge to configure.

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Firefox: Privacy Related "about:config" Tweaks

Preparation:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "I'll be careful, I promise!"
  3. Follow the instructions below...

Getting started:

privacy.firstparty.isolate = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference isolates all browser identifier sources (e.g. cookies) to the first party domain, with the goal of preventing tracking across different domains. (Don't do this if you are using the Firefox Addon "Cookie AutoDelete" with Firefox v58 or below.)
privacy.resistFingerprinting = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference makes Firefox more resistant to browser fingerprinting.
privacy.trackingprotection.fingerprinting.enabled = true
Blocks Fingerprinting
privacy.trackingprotection.cryptomining.enabled = true
Blocks CryptoMining
privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true
This is Mozilla's new built-in tracking protection. It uses Disconnect.me filter list, which is redundant if you are already using uBlock Origin 3rd party filters, therefore you should set it to false if you are using the add-on functionalities.
browser.cache.offline.enable = false
Disables offline cache.
browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled = false
Disable Google Safe Browsing malware checks. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
browser.safebrowsing.phishing.enabled = false
Disable Google Safe Browsing and phishing protection. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
browser.send_pings = false
The attribute would be useful for letting websites track visitors' clicks.
browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo = 0
Even with Firefox set to not remember history, your closed tabs are stored temporarily at Menu -> History -> Recently Closed Tabs.
browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled = false
Disable preloading of autocomplete URLs. Firefox preloads URLs that autocomplete when a user types into the address bar, which is a concern if URLs are suggested that the user does not want to connect to. Source
dom.battery.enabled = false
The battery status of your device could be tracked.
dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = false
Disable that websites can get notifications if you copy, paste, or cut something from a web page, and it lets them know which part of the page had been selected.
geo.enabled = false
Disables geolocation.
media.eme.enabled = false

Disables playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content, which, if enabled, automatically downloads the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc. Details

DRM-controlled content that requires the Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight NPAPI plugins will still play, if installed and enabled in Firefox.

media.gmp-widevinecdm.enabled = false
Disables the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc., used for the playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content. Details
media.navigator.enabled = false
Websites can track the microphone and camera status of your device.
network.cookie.cookieBehavior = 1
Disable cookies
  • 0 = Accept all cookies by default
  • 1 = Only accept from the originating site (block third-party cookies)
  • 2 = Block all cookies by default
network.cookie.lifetimePolicy = 2
cookies are deleted at the end of the session
  • 0 = Accept cookies normally
  • 1 = Prompt for each cookie
  • 2 = Accept for current session only
  • 3 = Accept for N days
network.http.referer.trimmingPolicy = 2
Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referer header
  • 0 = Send the full URL in the Referer header
  • 1 = Send the URL without its query string in the Referer header
  • 2 = Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referer header
network.http.referer.XOriginPolicy = 2
Only send Referer header when the full hostnames match. (Note: if you notice significant breakage, you might try 1 combined with an XOriginTrimmingPolicy tweak below.) Source
  • 0 = Send Referer in all cases
  • 1 = Send Referer to same eTLD sites
  • 2 = Send Referer only when the full hostnames match
network.http.referer.XOriginTrimmingPolicy = 2
When sending Referer across origins, only send scheme, host, and port in the Referer header of cross-origin requests. Source
  • 0 = Send full url in Referer
  • 1 = Send url without query string in Referer
  • 2 = Only send scheme, host, and port in Referer
webgl.disabled = true
WebGL is a potential security risk. Source
browser.sessionstore.privacy_level = 2
This preference controls when to store extra information about a session: contents of forms, scrollbar positions, cookies, and POST data. Details
  • 0 = Store extra session data for any site. (Default starting with Firefox 4.)
  • 1 = Store extra session data for unencrypted (non-HTTPS) sites only. (Default before Firefox 4.)
  • 2 = Never store extra session data.
extensions.pocket.enabled = false
Disables Pocket completely.
network.IDN_show_punycode = true
Not rendering IDNs as their Punycode equivalent leaves you open to phishing attacks that can be very difficult to notice. Source
extensions.blocklist.url = https://blocklists.settings.services.mozilla.com/v1/blocklist/3/%20/%20/

Limit the amount of identifiable information sent when requesting the Mozilla harmful extension blocklist.

Optionally, the blocklist can be disabled entirely by setting extensions.blocklist.enabled to false for increased privacy, but decreased security. Source

Firefox user.js Templates

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