Monday, April 27, 2009

Public Fox – User access control in Firefox

Just like a computer with multiple users require restriction and rules on what each user can do on the shared computer, a browser, which is the gateway to the world wide web, requires user access restrictions too.

Public Fox is an addon for Firefox that allows the computer administrator to lock down various areas of the browser on a shared PC. Public Fox password protects the following sections in Firefox:


# Lock downloads: Users can’t download files with specified extensions using Firefox, like EXE, BAT and anything that would like to add. You can also add XPI to prevent installation of new addons.

# Lock addons window: Users can’t uninstall addons from Firefox

# Lock Options and about:config.

# Lock History sidebar, Bookmarks addition and Clear Private data option.

# Blacklist certain websites from opening 

Trying to access these areas prompt for a password.


There are a few issues with this addon though, like the bookmark block didn’t work on my Firefox (version 3.0.1) and one user said that the addon blocking didn’t work in version 3.0.8. Every new update of Firefox is most likely breaking the security restrictions of this addon. Either the developer has to keep up with the fixes or users who want to use this tool will need to downgrade a couple of versions.


  1. i have forgotten the password for public fox. Anyone one know how to remove or reset it?

    Any help appreciated!

  2. You need to change a couple of hidden settings. These settings are accessed by typing about:config into the location bar. If you have locked access to about:config you will need to start Firefox in safe mode to access about:config

    Type about:config into the location bar and press enter. This brings up a list or preferences.
    Locate the preference extensions.dlwatch.password, right-click on it and choose Reset
    Next find the preference extensions.dlwatch.lock and make sure it is set to false, if it is not double-click on it to change its value.

  3. Help! I have installed public fox, checked everything in the box and made a password but it still does not lock anything! Everything is still accessible and the settings can be changed or the whole thing uninstalled. What do i do to get it to work?

  4. You could be using an unsupported version of Firefox. Some extensions break when you upgrade Firefox. I suggest you ask the developers.

  5. how to block yahoomail in public fox

  6. Please take away the password on you tube.


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