The Latest Firefox Browser Shows Who's Tracking You

Mozilla has released Firefox 70, introducing new security indicators for HTTP and HTTPS sites, and a new privacy report that shows how many times its Enhanced Tracking Protection has blocked third-party tracking cookies, fingerprinting, and browser-based cryptominers.

Mozilla says Firefox has blocked over 450 billion third-party tracking requests since July, with the number rising sharply after Firefox 69 was released last month, which enabled tracking protection by default. 

Firefox 70 offers users some insight into how frequent online tracking occurs in its new privacy report, which is accessible by clicking the browser's new shield icon next to the HTTPS padlock icon, and scrolling down to Show Report.

If you're serious about protecting your information online, Firefox and its collection of privacy tools can guard your personal data as you browse websites.

By default now, Mozilla's Firefox web browser for Windows and MacOS will protect you from trackers that gather your browsing history, cross-site tracking cookies that follow you from site to site (and is how ads follow you around), cryptominers that secretly use your device's resources to mine cryptocurrency and fingerprinters that uniquely identify you based on your device, settings and apps.

But much of the work that Firefox does on your privacy's behalf happens in the background, so to shine a light on the lengths that sites go to track you online, Firefox now comes with a privacy report that gives you a real-time view into how frequently websites try to gather information about you without your consent.

If Firefox users want to see which specific advertising firms are tracking them across sites, they can click on the shield icon and scroll down to "Blocked" and check which social media and third-party ad cookies are currently being blocked on a site. 

Firefox users can view how many social-media trackers, cross-site tracking cookies, fingerprinting scripts, and cryptominers the browser has blocked each day during the past week.

Firefox doesn't play the competitive role it once served against Microsoft's Internet Explorer. However, Mozilla believes its anti-tracking technology and individual privacy reports can counter the ad industry's misleading and confusing tracking consent forms, ostensibly adopted as part of a push for greater transparency.  zdnet

The Firefox Privacy Protections report includes:

See how many times Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks an attempt to tag you with cookies –  One of the many unseen ways that Firefox keeps you safe is to block third-party tracking cookies. It’s part of our Enhanced Tracking Protection that we launched by default in September. It prevents third-party trackers from building a profile of you based on your online activity. Now, you’ll see the number of cross-site and social media trackers, fingerprinters and cryptominers we blocked on your behalf.

Keep up to date on data breaches with Firefox Monitor –  Data breaches are not uncommon, so it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your email accounts and passwords. Now, you can view at a glance a summary of the number of unsafe passwords that may have been used in a breach, so that you can take action to update and change those passwords.

Manage your passwords and synced devices with Firefox Lockwise– Now, you can get a brief look at the number of passwords you have safely stored with Firefox Lockwise. We’ve also added a button where you can click to view your logins and update. You’ll also have the ability to quickly view and manage how many devices you are syncing and sharing your passwords with.

“The industry uses dark patterns to push people to “consent” to an unimaginable amount of data collection. These interfaces are designed to push you to allow tracking your behavior as you browse the web,” said Selena Deckelmann, Senior Director of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla. “Firefox’s Data Privacy Principles are concise and clear. We respect your privacy, time, and attention. You deserve better. For Firefox, this is business as usual. And we extend this philosophy to how we protect you from others online.”

Stay up-to-date on Your Personalized Privacy Protections
Stay up-to-date on Your Personalized Privacy Protections

There are a couple ways to access your personalized Firefox’s privacy protections. First, when you visit a site and see a shield icon in the address bar, Firefox is blocking 10 billion — that’s billion with a B —  trackers every day, stopping thousands of companies from viewing your online activity. Now, when you click on the shield icon, then click on Show Report, you’ll see a complete overview.
See Mozilla Blog.

Understand how hackers work

Forget about those hackers in movies trying to crack the code on someone’s computer to get their top-secret files. The hackers responsible for data breaches start by targeting companies, not specific individuals. They want to get data from as many people as possible so they can use, resell, or leverage it to make money. It all starts with getting your password.

It's not personal. Not at first.

Hackers don’t really care whose personal information and credentials they can get, as long as they can get a lot of it. That’s why cyber criminals target massive companies with millions of users. These hackers look for a security weakness — the digital equivalent of leaving a door unlocked or window open. They only need to find one door or window to get inside. Then they steal or copy as much personal information as possible that lives in users’ online accounts.

Once they get your data, cyber criminals can start their real work. We don’t always know what they intend to do with the data, but usually they will find a way to profit from it. The effects to your online account might not be immediate. But they can be very serious.

All types of data can be valuable.

Some data — like banking information, bank card numbers, government-issued ID numbers, and PIN numbers — is valuable because it can be used to steal the victim’s identity or withdraw money. Email addresses and passwords are also valuable because hackers can try them on other accounts. All sorts of data can be valuable in some way because it can be sold on the dark web for a profit.

What makes a password easy to guess.

If hackers can get a list of email addresses from a data breach, they already have a good start. All they have to do is pick their website of choice and try these emails with the most popular passwords. Chances are, they’ll be able to get into quite a few accounts.

123456 and password are the most commonly used passwords. Don’t use them.
Switching a letter for a symbol (p@ssw0rd!) is an obvious trick hackers know well.
Avoid favorite sports teams or pop culture references. Use something more obscure.
Don’t use a single word like sunshine, monkey, or football. Using a phrase or sentence as your password is stronger.

Best Free Password Manager To Secure All Your Passwords

Don’t use common number patterns like 111111, abc123, or 654321.
Adding a number or piece of punctuation at the end doesn’t make your password stronger.
One exposed password can unlock many accounts.
Hackers know people reuse the same passwords. If your banking password is the same as your email password is the same as your Amazon password, a single vulnerability in one site can put the others at risk.

It’s why you should use different passwords for every single account. The average person has 90 accounts, and that’s a lot of passwords to remember. Security experts recommend using a password manager to safely store unique passwords for every site.

Hackers don’t care how much money you have.

Think you don’t need to worry because you don’t have much money to steal? Hackers couldn’t care less. There are countless ways to leverage all types of personal data for profit.

Through identity theft, cyber criminals can open new credit cards or apply for loans in your name. By getting your financial information, they can make purchases or withdrawals. These attackers can even find ways to target your friends and family once they gain access to your email.


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