The web browser Firefox from Mozilla has taken steps to become an increasingly powerful, but privacy-oriented tool.
In the modern days of the internet, websites and web apps can deploy many forms of trackers to identify users and visitors, and to gather data from them. Firefox, which has positioned itself as a supporter of privacy, has made a number of updates to the way its browser works.
First of, it's bringing its Firefox Relay to the browser.
"If you’re already one of the many people who use Firefox Relay to save your real email address from trackers and spammers, then we’ve got a timesaver for you. We are testing a new way for Firefox Relay users to access their email masks directly from Firefox on numerous sites," said Mozilla in a blog post.
Firefox Relay allows users to block unwanted emails from ever getting into their inboxes, by keeping users' real email addresses safe from trackers across the web.
In other words Firefox Relay masks users' real email addresses to keep their personal information safe.
Firefox Relay on the Firefox browser works when users visit some websites and are prompted to sign up and share their email address. Here, Firefox Relay allows users to choose one of their Firefox Relay email masks or create a new one.
But again, it's all up to the users, and in the end, the decision is theirs.
If users want to use their real email addresses when signing up, they can simply opt out of Firefox Relay.
This way, they won't be prompted to use an email mask when they come across the pop-up.
If they want to manage their Firefox Relay email address masks, they can visit their dashboard on the Firefox Relay site.
The second update, according to Mozilla in another blog post, is that Firefox's Total Cookie Protection is finally arriving to mobile.
After making it available for Firefox users on Windows, Mac, and Linux, Mozilla finally arrives to Android.
Total Cookie Protection targets third-party cookies, which collect information about users from across the internet, in order to built virtual identities.
This ensures that mobile users can browse the web without having their cookies shared across websites.
Users browsing habit is that kind of data that has been proven valuable. Data brokers are known to sell and trade this kind of information to businesses that will in turn target those people with convincing ads.
While users browse the web, the browser will build up cookies along the way. The more the sites users visit, the more data they will generate.
Total Cookie Protection ensures that users' cookies aren't shared, and that the cookies they create while browsing should only belong to the site they're on.
Firefox calls it its "strongest privacy feature."
"Total Cookie Protection works by maintaining a separate 'cookie jar' for each website you visit. Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, Firefox Android confines that cookie to the cookie jar assigned to that website. This way, no other websites can reach into the cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what the other websites’ cookies know about you," Mozilla said.
By confining cookies to the site where they were created, this effectively prevents tracking companies from doing what they do.
While Firefox is becoming a browser that preserves users' privacy, it may not bring the level of anonymity found in Tor browser, the browser developed using a modified Mozilla Firefox ESR. But regardless, Firefox is a lot more reliable than Tor, and a lot speedier as well.