TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Last year, Mozilla’s Firefox announced the new approach to anti-tracking, and the commitment to help people stay safe whenever they used Firefox. One of those initiatives outlined was to block cookies from known third party trackers in Firefox.
Today, Firefox will be rolling out this feature, Enhanced Tracking Protection, to all new users on by default, to make it harder for over a thousand companies to track their every move. Additionally, Mozilla is updating its privacy-focused features including an upgraded Facebook Container extension, a Firefox desktop extension for Lockwise, a way to keep their passwords safe across all platforms, and Firefox Monitor’s new dashboard to manage multiple email addresses.
Over the past year, Mozilla has seen tech companies talk a big game about privacy, as people feel increasingly vulnerable to privacy issues after several global scandals. It’s unfortunate that this shift had to happen in order for tech companies to take notice. In order to truly protect people, Mozilla needs to establish a new standard that puts people’s privacy first. Mozilla’s Firefox has been working on setting this standard by offering privacy-related features, like Tracking Protection in Private Browsing, long before these issues were brought to light. With an increasing awareness for privacy, Mozilla feels that the time is right for the next step in stronger online protections for everyone.
Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks sites from tracking users
For new users who install and download Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the browser and will block known “third-party tracking cookies” according to the Disconnect list. More information about tracking cookies, please visit here. Enhanced Tracking Protection will be practically invisible to users and they’ll only notice that it’s operating when they visit a site and see a shield icon in the address bar next to the URL address and the small “i” icon. When users see the shield icon, they should feel safe that Firefox is blocking thousands of companies from their online activity.
For those who want to see which companies are blocked by Firefox, users can click on the shield icon, go to the Content Blocking section, then Cookies. It should read Blocking Tracking Cookies. Then, click on the arrow on the right hand side, and users will see the companies listed as third party cookies and trackers that Firefox has blocked. If users want to turn off blocking for a specific site, click on the Turn off Blocking for this Site button.
For existing users, Firefox will be rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection by default in the coming months without having to change a thing. If users can’t wait, they can turn this feature on by clicking on the menu icon marked by three horizontal lines at the top right of the browser, then under Content Blocking. Go to privacy preferences and click on the Custom gear on the right side. Mark the Cookies checkbox and make sure that “Third-party trackers” is selected. To learn more about Firefox privacy and security settings and get more detail on what each section – Standard, Strict, and Custom – includes, visit here.
Earlier this year, Mozilla was honored as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. Notably Mozilla’s Facebook Container extension played a big role in getting selected. With more than two million downloads since it launched, Mozilla’s Facebook Container is an add-on/web extension that helps users take control and isolate users’ web activity from Facebook (i.e. following and tracking users across the web). Today, Mozilla is releasing the latest update for Facebook Container which prevents Facebook from tracking users on other sites that have embedded Facebook capabilities such as the Share and Like buttons on their site.
For example, when users are on a news site and reading an article, they often see Facebook Like and Share buttons. Mozilla’s Facebook Container will block these buttons and all connections to Facebook’s servers, so that Facebook isn’t able to track users’ visits to these sites. This blocking makes it much harder for Facebook to build shadow profiles of non-Facebook users. Users will know the blocking is in effect when they see the Facebook Container purple fence badge.
Last Summer, Mozilla brought users Firefox Lockbox for iOS, and in March of this year Mozilla announced both Firefox Lockbox for Android and an iPad-optimized version to expand the ecosystem. One of the top most requested features from users was to find a way to manage their passwords. Today, Mozilla is rolling out a Firefox desktop extension that offers this feature and completes this product family called Firefox Lockwise.
As part of the Firefox Lockwise product suite, formerly known as Firefox Lockbox, the desktop extension will give users more control over their stored passwords with shared access from every device. With the new desktop extension, Firefox Lockwise will provide an additional touchpoint to store, edit and access users’ passwords. The extension provides an enhanced experience for users’ saved logins, which will allow them to more easily manage and interact with their stored passwords in Firefox. Users will notice a seamless integrated experience in Firefox when users move from desktop to mobile, with a similar layout of key features for easy navigation and access, and easy access to their logins and passwords.
Manage users’ saved list of passwords – The new dashboard interface makes it simple to update and manage users’ saved list. If users are no longer frequenting a site, they can easily delete the saved password. And for the sites users access frequently, they can quickly reference and edit what is being stored, thus giving them an easy way to take control of their online privacy.
Access users’ passwords anywhere – Whether users are shopping for shoes on their desktop or purchasing them on-the-go from their favorite site, Firefox Lockwise has users covered. Both the mobile app and desktop extension can help users quickly retrieve their password to access the site account, no matter which device they’re on to take advantage of member discounts or free shipping.
Whether users are ready to take control of passwords, Firefox Lockwise is available on iOS, Android, and now a Firefox add-on for Desktop.
Since the launch of Firefox Monitor, a free service that notifies users when their email have been part of a data breach, more than 635,000 people have signed up for alerts. Users have been checking multiple personal email addresses on Monitor since launch, and the ability to easily manage multiple accounts has been a top and frequently requested feature. Today Mozilla is launching a central dashboard to help users track and manage multiple email addresses, whether it’s their personal email accounts or ones for professional use.
Through the breach dashboard, users will receive a quick summary of updates for all registered email accounts. They will be able to easily identify which emails are being monitored, how many known data breaches may have exposed users’ information, and specifically, if any passwords have been leaked across those breaches. Adding a new email address to users’ existing Firefox Monitor account is simple, and whether they’re managing one – or multiple – new email accounts, they will be able to select a primary email address to serve as the hub for all notifications and alerts. Firefox Monitor also added a safety measure to ensure that all email addresses are verified by email before they are activated.
Being part of a data breach is not fun, but keeping track of and knowing where users’ private information may have been made public is one of the first steps in taking control of users’ online privacy.