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How to manage Firefox Quantum site permissions

Jack Wallen walks you through the process of managing both default and site permissions with Firefox Quantum, so you can enjoy a more secure and reliable browsing experience.

Firefox Quantum: The latest iteration of the open source browser impresses

If you've made the switch to Firefox Quantum, chances are you're enjoying a great deal of speed and reliability. But don't write off Firefox for not being flexible--it is. However unlike its rival Chrome, some of the flexibility isn't quite as obvious. Take, for instance, site permissions. With most browsers, you are able to determine on a site-by-site basis what each URL has access to within the browser. Location information, Flash, ability to install add-ons, load images, and much more are all under your control. The thing is with Chrome those permissions are quite obvious. Click the information button (directly to the left of the site URL - Figure A) and you can get instant access to the site permissions.

Figure A

Site permissions are very obvious under Chrome.

With Firefox, those permissions are there, only not quite as obvious. In fact, as you might expect, Firefox gives you even more control than Chrome. Let's take a look at how to gain access to site permissions under Firefox Quantum.

Accessing permissions

Point Firefox to a website. Once the site has loaded, you'll see the circled "i" to the left of the URL. Click that icon to reveal the information drop-down ( Figure B).

Figure B

The Firefox URL information drop-down.

As you can see, I have not granted the site in question any permissions. To do that, click the right pointing arrow. This will open up a new popup ( Figure C).

Figure C

We now see that the site certificate was verified by DigiCert, but what else?

Click on the More Information button, at the bottom of that popup, to reveal the actual site permissions window ( Figure D).

Figure D

The site permissions window for TechRepublic.com.

Within this new window, you can address all of the site permissions for the current URL. Scroll through the listing and enable or disable anything you might need. As you can see, that's not all you can control. Click on the Security tab and you can manage the site certificates, cookies, and passwords ( Figure E).

Figure E

Manage certificates, cookies, and passwords.

Click on the Feeds tab and you can subscribe to any of the site's available RSS feeds. Click on the Media tab and you can block images from third-party sites. The one thing missing from the Media tab is the ability to block third-party video. In this case, Media only covers images, background images, and icons.

What about the defaults?

While poking around in a site's permissions, you'll come across Use Default quite a bit. What is that and where do you manage it? To set global permissions, click on the Firefox menu button (three horizontal lines in the upper right corner) and click Preferences. Click on the Privacy & Security section (from the left navigation) and scroll through the options. These are your defaults. You can enable or disable those options you'd like to set globally. This makes it easy for you to control all permissions. For example, you could set very strict defaults and then when you come across a site that doesn't function properly because of these defaults, open up the site permissions window and adjust accordingly until the site functions properly.

And that's how you manage permissions on Firefox Quantum. Although it may not be quite as simplistic as Chrome, it does give you more power to control what those sites can access on your browser. With a bit of care, your Firefox Quantum browser can be very secure. Use it wisely and enjoy a new level of browser security and reliability.

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Image: Mozilla
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