Mozilla is turning on DNS over HTTPS by
default for users in the United States and is making it available for users
throughout the rest of the world if they choose it. The goal is to make it more
difficult for Internet service providers (ISP) and other interested third parties
to know what websites people access.
Even if a website is secure (HTTPS), it
doesn’t mean your ISP or other third-parties can’t intercept the user’s
queries. Data collected in this manner could be sold or used for numerous purposes,
including targeted ads.
You can keep your activity hidden online
in various ways, and that includes simple browser searches and visits. VPNs are
a good alternative as the traffic generated by users is encrypted and routed
through other servers. But that means a cost increase as most VPN solutions are
not free or cheap.
“We know that unencrypted DNS is not
only vulnerable to spying but is being exploited, and so we are helping the
internet to make the shift to more secure alternatives,” said
Mozilla. “We do this by performing DNS lookups in an encrypted HTTPS
connection. This helps hide your browsing history from attackers on the
network, helps prevent data collection by third parties on the network that
ties your computer to websites you visit.”
For now, Firefox uses Cloudflare and
NextDNS to encrypt searches as they are both considered trusted resolvers.
Also, the new option is slowly being enabled by default only for users in the
United States, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world won’t have access to
it, they just need to enable it manually.
“Go to Settings, then General, then
scroll down to Network Settings and click the Settings button on the right.
From there, go to Enable DNS over HTTPS, then use the pull down menu to select
the provider as your resolver.”
DNS over HTTPS won’t be enabled by
default in the US where specific policies are enabled, such as parental control
or companies that have other settings in place.