Firefox didn’t come to play when it comes to taking user privacy seriously. The new privacy updates will make you ditch chrome if you haven’t already.
Here are some of them:
Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default
What Firefox previously did
Basic Tracking protection was added in November 2015 to Firefox 42 private browsing mode. It used Disconnect’s tracking protection rules to block ads, analytics trackers and social share buttons. This feature was further extended to normal browsing in Firefox 57 in November 2017. In October 2018, Firefox 63 came with Enhanced Tracking Protection that blocked cookies storage access from third-party trackers. Firefox 65 released in January added three ways to Content Blocking controls from standard, strict and custom.
What Firefox is doing now
If you install Firefox now, Enhanced Tracking Protection is now turned on by default as seen by a shield icon in the address bar. You can turn it off for specific sites by clicking on the icon. For current Firefox users, ETP will be rolling out in the coming months. You can also get it by either clicking the i icon in the address bar and clicking on the settings(gear) on the right side under Content Blocking or by going to Preferences, Privacy & Security > Content Blocking > select Custom > Cookies > Third-party trackers.
First-party cookies reserved for logins are allowed but third-party trackers the ad industry(over 2,500 tracking domains) uses are blocked by this feature.
Firefox is turning on this feature by default since most users never tweak with the settings and thus removes this burden from the users. Chrome offers no equivalent feature as users have to manually disable all third-party cookies in settings which breaks many websites. Safari has a different one that relies on algorithms which Firefox says can be gamed. Plus security offered is limited to Apple’s hardware ecosystem only.
Facebook container extension got better
The Facebook Container add-on was launched in March 2018 to make it harder for Facebook to track you when you’re not on its site. The add-on now has more than 2 million downloads since it went live.
Before, the add-on isolated your web activity from Facebook. It got improved and now prevents Facebook from tracking you on other sites that have embedded Facebook capabilities, such as the Share and Like buttons. The add-on now blocks Facebook buttons on other sites “and all connections to Facebook’s servers, so that Facebook isn’t able to track your visits to these sites.
This feature is important now more than ever since blocking these connections makes it difficult for Facebook to build shadow profiles of non-Facebook users.
Firefox Lockwise Password Keeper Got a Desktop Extension
Mozilla is bringing it to the desktop through a Firefox desktop extension. You can use the extension to update and manage your passwords too.
Firefox Monitor Now Supports Multiple Email Addresses
Firefox Monitor got updated too. For those not familiar, it is a free service that notifies you when your email has been part of a breach. More than 635,00 people have signed up to receive alerts.
Firefox Monitor now has a dashboard that shows which emails are being monitored, how many known data breaches may have exposed your information and whether any passwords have been leaked.
Also, you can now also select a primary email address to serve as the hub for all notifications and alerts. All email addresses must now be verified by email before they are activated.