The Stack Archive

Firefox introduces ad and tracking block in Private Browsing mode

Tue 3 Nov 2015

Firefox blocker

Mozilla has extended the security of its Firefox Private Browsing by introducing an ad and tracker-blocking feature, available from today.

Private Browsing Mode, also known as Incognito on Chrome, keeps browser history and cookies secure by deleting the information when the browser window is closed. However, Mozilla warned that this does not prevent users from sharing data unknowingly with third parties.

The latest version of Firefox (42) introduces Tracking Protection which allows the user to disable third party content such as ads, analytics trackers and social sharing options, such as the Facebook Like button, which could be monitoring activity and gathering information in the background.

Firefox VP Nick Nguyen explained in a video posted to YouTube (below) that some websites may load quicker with tracking protection enabled. A recent Mozilla study found that pages loaded an average of 44% quicker and data usage was reduced by 39%. Nguyen also noted that adverts containing trackers would not be displayed – a feature which could hamper the layout of some sites.

When trackers have been blocked, Firefox will notify the user by displaying a shield in the Firefox Control Centre – a new tool which positions security and privacy options in the address bar. As some sites may appear broken, Tracking Protection can be disabled while traditional Private Browsing mode is kept active.

“With the release of Tracking Protection in Firefox Private Browsing we are leading the industry by giving you control over the data that third parties receive from you online. No other browser’s Private Browsing mode protects you the way Firefox does—not Chrome, not Safari, not Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer,” claimed Nguyen.

The new update is available across Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. The desktop version is available for download from Firefox.com, while existing users can upgrade automatically. The Android version will be available across Google Play.


Firefox security
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