Firefox beefs up security and privacy, blocking third-party trackers, Facebook cookies and more

Firefox Lockwise now manages your passwords in the desktop browser, too.

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If you’ve never used the Firefox web browser before, Mozilla has promised you a soft landing: New users will not be tracked by default.

On Tuesday, Mozilla promised that new users of the current Firefox 67.0.1 and subsequent versions will have Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default, blocking all known third-party cookies within Firefox. Enhanced Tracking Protection will go hand in hand with a new version of Facebook Container, which prevents pages with embedded Facebook trackers from watching you as you move around the web. 

While new users will have Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default, that doesn’t mean existing users are stuck. You can go to the Firefox main menu and click Privacy & Security. Go to Content Blocking, then make sure the Custom button is enabled, as well as the Cookies checkbox. From there, simply make sure the Third-party trackers option in the drop-down menu is enabled.

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Privacy was also the driving force behind Facebook Container, a technology Firefox introduced last year. Previously, the Container isolated your Facebook browsing into its own tab—the Container—which was colored blue to differentiate it from regular browser tabs. Facebook Container was designed to make it harder for Facebook to track your activity as you hopped between Facebook and other browser tabs.

The updated Facebook Container goes a bit further, blocking the connection to Facebook on sites that feature Facebook Like and Share buttons. You’ll actually see a purple “fence” badge next to those icons to alert you that information isn’t being passed back to Facebook.

Firefox Lockbox and Monitor improvements

Firefox also said that it now offers a way to manage passwords on desktop PC browsers, complementing what it already offered for its mobile Android and iOS browsers, known as Lockbox. The new solution, a desktop extension for Firefox, is now known as Firefox Lockwise.

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Finally, Firefox said it had updated Firefox Monitor, a solution that lets users track whether their email address has been caught up in a data breach. Similar in concept to HaveIBeenPwned and other like-minded services, the Firefox Monitor has now been migrated from an email alert system to a central dashboard for easier oversight. 

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