Minor update: Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs

Made a few small changes to both the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs and the The Firefox Privacy Guide For Dummies!. There's no need to revisit them if you've already read them, but there is one IMPORTANT addition i want to highlight: Neither of my Firefox configuration guides should be used with the Tor browser! Doing so can cause a serious risk to your privacy.

I should've made that clear long ago, however i personally don't use Tor and so i wasn't really aware of the risks associated with installing certain add-ons with the Tor browser (which is Firefox, or a derivative thereof). Plus i'm not sure how how compatible the 'ghacks' user.js is with the Tor browser, much less my personal supplements.

Firefox user-overrides.js update

I updated my user-overrides.js again. You can grab it here (Ctrl+S). Changes follow…

* added 'toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets'
* added 'privacy.donottrackheader.enabled' to testing
* added 'extensions.blocklist.enabled' to testing
* added 'dom.push.enabled'
* added 'dom.push.connection.enabled'
* added 'dom.push.serverURL'
* added 'dom.push.userAgentID'
* added 'network.trr.mode'
* added 'network.trr.bootstrapAddress'
* added 'network.trr.uri'
* updated instructions

Firefox user-overrides.js update

I updated my user-overrides.js file. You can grab it here (Ctrl+S). Following are the changes since the last version…

* misc. edits to intro text
* changed/corrected some pref descriptions
* removed some unneeded prefs related to smooth scrolling
* removed all [DEF=*] tags since these vales could be changed by Mozilla at any time, yet are rarely ever re-checked
* removed 'alerts.showFavicons'
* removed 'browser.taskbar.lists.enabled' – duplicate of user.js
* removed 'browser.taskbar.lists.frequent.enabled' – duplicate of user.js
* removed 'browser.taskbar.lists.recent.enabled' – duplicate of user.js
* removed 'browser.taskbar.lists.tasks.enabled' – duplicate of user.js
* removed 'browser.taskbar.previews.enable' – duplicate of user.js
* removed 'extensions.blocklist.url' – essentially same as user.js
* removed 'network.trr.uri'
* changed value of 'layers.geometry.opengl.enabled' – temp prefs
* moved 'privacy.trackingprotection.cryptomining.enabled' from the testing section to the user customization section
* added 'extensions.htmlaboutaddons.discover.enabled' to temp section
* added 'browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.asrouter.userprefs.cfr.features'
* added 'privacy.resistFingerprinting.letterboxing'

Just a reminder that this user-overrides.js contains My Personal Settings and so those using it will need to edit it. I relax some of the settings in the 'ghacks' user.js in return for a less troublesome browsing experience and in dong so i trade a little privacy for convenience, but i use a VPN also.

One of the newly exposed preferences in the 'ghacks' user.js is privacy.resistFingerprinting.letterboxing and it's a rather important preference that forces a generic inner window size which makes it harder for websites to fingerprint the browser. The caveat with the preference, when enabled, is that the you may notice an empty border around the web page content. I don't like that at all, so i disable this setting (for now). Just be aware that doing so makes the browser easier to fingerprint/track.

The other newly exposed preference is privacy.resistFingerprinting.letterboxing.dimensions. I haven't played with this yet, but this is used to set the dimensions of the viewport when the earlier preference is enabled. The idea is to use generic sizes to make fingerprinting harder. From the newest 'ghacks' user.js…

/* 4504: enable RFP letterboxing [FF67+]
 * Dynamically resizes the inner window (FF67; 200w x100h: FF68+; stepped ranges) by applying letterboxing,
 * using dimensions which waste the least content area, If you use the dimension pref, then it will only apply
 * those resolutions. The format is "width1xheight1, width2xheight2, ..." (e.g. "800x600, 1000x1000, 1600x900")
 * [NOTE] This does NOT require RFP (see 4501) **for now**
 * [WARNING] The dimension pref is only meant for testing, and we recommend you DO NOT USE it
 * [1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/1407366 ***/
user_pref("privacy.resistFingerprinting.letterboxing", true); // [HIDDEN PREF]
   // user_pref("privacy.resistFingerprinting.letterboxing.dimensions", ""); // [HIDDEN PREF]

Help! I'm at that point where…

This website has grown to the point where there's too much stuff for me to deal with and so i'd like to solicit some help. The Firefox junk alone is getting to be a rather large burden.

I'd like my readers to be more involved and make this more of a community project, especially those that know more than i do about the stuff i write about. At the moment i could use help with Everything Firefox, as well as the Rescuing Israel content, the latter of which needs a lot of work. Then there's a lengthy series of articles about the dangers of vaccines that i've been toying with for over a year and is still no where near publishing.

If you have knowledge in these areas, or in alternative/natural healthcare, along with a desire to become rich and famous (major LIE!), then i'd really like to hear from you. Following are the benefits of an editor position here at 12bytes.org:

Pay: $0
Medical insurance: 1 box of (mostly unused) Band-Aids/decade
Vacation: Virtual reality app, all expenses paid (by you)
Expense account: $0.00000000000/yr.
Knowing you're helping to educate others: $$$ PRICELESS $$$

I earn exactly nothing from this website, so it only costs me money to run. I'd be interested in monetizing it and sharing the earnings, but i am NOT interested anyone who want's to use it as an advertising platform for their own site (i've gotten several of these stupid offers and i ignore all of them). If you have some creative ideas as to how to monetize in an ETHICAL way that benefits readers, i'm open to discussing that, however i am primarily interested in improving existing content and adding to what is already here.

If you're interested, contact me.

Article update: Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs

Some slight changes were made to the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs. Nothing important, i just removed my Mozilla rant and gave it a dedicated page. Also i added the NoCoin adblock list to uBlock Origin which is a cryptomining blocking filter which you can add to uBlock simply by clicking the link in the description for that repository.

Speaking of cyrptomining, Firefox 67, released today, includes two new options in its 'Privacy & Security' settings; one to block fingerprinting and one to block cryptominers. To my knowledge both of these rely on 3rd party filter lists which are likely pretty rudimentary and therefore i don't recommend enabling these options at this time since the filters used by uBlock are probably much more comprehensive. I need to dig into this deeper to verify how these options work however. It would be great to not have to use Canvas Blocker if the native anti-fingerprinting stuff in Firefox could eventually address all of the important stuff in Canvas Blocker. If anyone has any feedback in this area, please leave a comment.

Update: I think i've confirmed that both of the new fingerprinting and cryptomining prefs in FF v67 rely on lists. If we look at browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.lists in about:config, here's the value of that preference:


In there we see base-fingerprinting-track-digest256, content-fingerprinting-track-digest256, base-cryptomining-track-digest256 and content-cryptomining-track-digest256.

I don't know what lists Firefox is using, but given that Mozilla tries to not break a lot of websites with these privacy options, they are probably rudimentary as i said earlier and so, again, i do not recommend enabling those two options if you're using uBlock. The same goes for all of the Content Blocking options with the exception of cookies and how that should be set depends on how uMatrix is set up and whether you're using the Site Bleacher add-on.