How to stay safe on the web

Firefox, Privacy and Security Firefox, Privacy and Security Last updated: 03/07/2024 78% of users voted this helpful

There are all kinds of scams, viruses and other dangers out in the web. Here are simple steps you can take to protect your computer and personal information.

Keep your software and operating system up-to-date

Software updates contain vulnerability patches that protect your computer and personal information.

  • Update Firefox: Click the menu button Fx89menuButton, click Help and select About Firefox.On the menu bar, click the Firefox menu and select About Firefox. See Update Firefox to the latest release for details.
  • Update WindowsUpdate macOSUpdate your system: Make sure you have all of the latest security and stability fixes. Go to the Start menu, select All Programs and then Windows Update.Go to the Apple menu and select Software Update....Go to the System menu, down to Administration and select Update Manager.

Check your Firefox settings

Firefox has many ways to help you stay safe on the web:

Follow best practices to protect yourself online

Here are some handy tips to protect yourself:

  • Create secure passwords to keep your identity safe.
  • Remember that YOU decide what information about yourself to reveal, when, why, and to whom: Don't give out personally-identifiable information too easily; set your privacy settings in your social networking account; beware of sites that offer some sort of reward or prize in exchange for your contact information or other personal details.
  • Only download Firefox (and other software) from legitimate channels: Beware of scams such as fake Firefox updates. Only download Firefox from the official Mozilla website.
  • Be conscious of Internet security: Never submit a credit card number or other highly sensitive personal information without first making sure your connection is secure; be on the lookout for "spyware"; use secure passwords and protect them with a Primary Password.
  • Keep a "clean" e-mail address: Use some pseudonymous or simply alternate address, and keep your main or preferred address only on small, members-only lists and with known, trusted individuals.
  • Do not reply to spammers, for any reason.
  • Realize you may be monitored at work: Avoid sending highly personal e-mail to mailing lists, and keep sensitive files on your home computer.
  • Be conscious of home computer security: Turn off your computer when you are not using your Internet connection; secure your Wi-Fi network with a strong encryption (WPA or WPA2); use a firewall.
  • Examine privacy policies and seals: Does the site provide offline contact information? Does the site have a prominently-posted privacy policy? If so, what does it say? Do you have a reason to believe it? Have you ever heard of this company? What is their reputation? And are they backing up their privacy statement with a seal program? If you see a seal, is it real? Some sites allow their visitors to check these seals by clicking on them to show their authenticity.

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