Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are widely used and have significant mindshare in the browser market. And surprisingly, both of them used to have a major privacy issue where users’ search terms were sent to one of the DNS servers of the ISP without their consent. But now, it seems that Firefox has solved the issue as it gives users the option to disable the sending of search terms to ISPs.
As things stand right now, if you’re running anything older than Firefox 79 or any version of Chrome, when you type a search term (e.g. “a-very-sensitive-word”) into the address bar and enter the browser automatically send the search term to one of the (DNS) servers of your ISP.
However, there is a catch. it sends your search term to your ISP only when the search term is just one word( e.g.,”word”, “one-word”, “many-words-without-spaces”). If your search term consists of multiple words, you’re safe.
The good news is that if you’re using Firefox 79(or Firefox 78 beta), you can fix the issue by following a couple of easy as well as simple steps(via Techdows).
Here is how to prevent Firefox from sending search term to ISPs
- Type about:config
- You can now see a search bar named Search preference name. You need to type “single” and press enter
- Change the browser.
urlbar. dnsResolveSingleWordsAfterSearch pref value to 0
- Restart the browser
These are pretty much all the steps that you’ll need to follow in order to prevent Firefox from sending search terms to your ISP.