Big Data is Watching – Cover Your Tracks with Firefox

How to Stop Websites from Tracking You Online

Firefox stepped up their privacy game by offering content blocking and online tracking protection to their users. Content Blockers are turned on, by default, for private browsing windows. Mozilla Firefox users can also turn on content blocking in non-private windows when they want more data privacy from advertisers, social media sites, and other websites that track their every move.

Mozilla Firefox’s Content Blocking gives all users the ability to enable Tracking Protection full-time. Previously it was only available while using Private Browsing. The new privacy settings allow users increased control over tracking technology that can follow them from website-to-website across devices and in apps. This version of Firefox (version 63) lets users block third-party tracking cookies or block all trackers. Users can also create exceptions for trusted websites, e.g. sites they pay for a subscription to, or those websites that don’t work properly with content blocking. Online trackers listed on the Disconnect.me blocklist are targeted by the new data privacy feature.

Firefox Logo
Firefox Logo

Firefox’s Content Blocking is enabled by default when using a Private Browsing window. In private windows, Firefox Content Blocking automatically blocks many trackers that can collect personal data about you. Click the switch next to Content Blocking on the Private Browsing home page to turn it on or off. The shield icon will appear in your address bar whenever Firefox blocks tracking domains.

Content Blocking and Third-party cookies tracking can be turned on (or off!) for both Private Browsing and non-private browsers.

How to Turn on Firefox Content Blocking

  1. Click the hamburger (three horizontal lines) menu in the top-left corner of your Firefox window
  2. Select Content Blocking
  3. Put a check mark next to All Detected Trackers
  4. Choose one of two options:
    • Only in private windows
    • Always: Keep Content Blocking on as you browse

    The Only in Private Windows Option Turns Content Blocking on only if you’re using an instance of Firefox’s Private Browsing. The Always option is as it says, always on

    Firefox Private Web Browsing

    How Do Online Trackers Work?

    Tracking refers to the monitoring and collection of a users’ online data and web browsing behavior as they surf content and make purchases online. Tracking can occur across multiple websites and apps. For example, Google tracks internet users across Google Maps, its Chrome Browser, and YouTube. The justification for tracking is carried out under the banner of improving the users’ experience. But read the legalese and you will often see that tracking data is used to target advertisements.

    What is Mozilla Firefox?

    Firefox is an open source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is free and available for multiple desktop and mobile device operating systems. A previous Firefox update featured an extension known as Facebook Container, which blocked Facebook trackers.

    Download the latest version of Mozilla’S Firefox Web Browser here

    What is Content Blocking?

    Firefox’s Content Blocking with tracking protection feature uses a list provided by the Disconnect.me blocklist to identify and block online trackers and third-party cookies. Blocked content may include advertisements and pop-up windows.

    What Other Web Browsers Offer Content Blocking?

    Apple’s Safari blocks third-party cookies by default. Apple also offers Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Google Chrome also ships with default settings that block advertisements and online trackers.