Tinfoil for Firefox adds access to advanced privacy settings

Tinfoil for Firefox adds access to advanced privacy settings

by Pete Daniel on 9 February 2015 · 2079 views

Privacy is a tricky thing to accomplish when using the Mozilla Firefox web browser because many of the best features are hidden within the about:config settings. To get around this issue, it is helpful to install a useful privacy related add on to make it far easier to access these privacy settings using a more comfortable GUI.

Tinfoil intends to be exactly this kind of Firefox add on with a whole host of privacy options, tweaks and changes that are possible after having installed this add on. 

Most Important Options

2 large Tinfoil for Firefox adds access to advanced privacy settings

There are several important settings on the first page of configuration. These are Go Full Tinfoil which makes the strongest list of changes to configuration settings. There is a Reset add on to default state which takes the changes back to the basic settings it installed with. There is also a way to Reset settings back to the way they were before the Tinfoil add on was ever installed.

Any new settings can also be left in place and then the add on uninstalled to reduce the system resources used with Firefox add ons if this is preferred which is a nice touch.

Beyond these initial options, each privacy setting can be configured manually one by one. This provides a level of granual control over how Firefox operates without needing to troll through the about:config settings to do so.

Preference Options

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With each preference for privacy, there is the name of it and the description of what the option provides as a choice. The user can then decide whether to either enable or disable this option.

Headers can be changed so they refer to a different web browser, operating system and previous web page entirely to throw off snooping and hacking.

4 large Tinfoil for Firefox adds access to advanced privacy settings

The geographical location could be hidden without Firefox automatically giving it away. However, this doesn't prohibit web sites using your IP address to get some idea where you are located but it is a good start.

Pre fetching the next page in an article or page sequence can be turned on or off to save on wasted bandwidth.

There are currently 36 different privacy options which can be configured through the Tinfoil add on for Firefox.

A Better Way To Make Privacy Settings Changes in Firefox

Where the add on excels is that the description of each feature is well written so it is easy to understand what it will do when enabled. This is self-explanatory vs meddling with the about:config settings where you really need to know what setting you wish to change (and understand what that'll do) before you open up about:config. As making changes directly yourself in about:config could ultimately disable the Firefox browser if made incorrectly, Tinfoil is a safer and easier way to go if wanting to get a better handle on privacy settings within Firefox.

Currently in the beta stage the add on is up to version 0.7.

Config Descriptions

1 large Tinfoil for Firefox adds access to advanced privacy settings

Alternative, there is another Firefox add on Config Descriptions which adds descriptions for each setting option in about:config. These descriptions are pulled directly from the source files and aim to make it clearer what each configurable setting will do or does once enabled or disabled. It is imperfect as many of the settings currently lack any description while others have one, but it is a viable alternative way to go if the user prefers to use about:config directly but would like a bit more direction when they do so.

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