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Firefox’s Latest Version Blocks Third-Party Trackers By Default For Everyone

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Mozilla has amped up the privacy measures on its browser Firefox in its latest update.

Firefox 69 has been launched for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. It now comes with measures to block third-party tracking cookies as well as crypto mining by default. This feature was present for a small number of users from June, but from today this feature will be on for everyone using Firefox. Blocking third-party tracking cookies will keep companies keeping a track of your online activity at bay and prevent them from potentially selling your data to others.

According to the company blog post, over 20% of Firefox users have Enhanced Tracking Protection. However, with today’s release, the company latest version will provide 100% protection for its users by default—Enhanced Tracking Protection works behind-the-scenes to keep a company from forming a profile of you based on their tracking of your browsing behavior across websites — often without your knowledge or consent. Those profiles and the information they contain may then be sold and used for purposes you never knew or intended. Enhanced Tracking Protection helps to mitigate this threat and puts you back in control of your online experience.

How to know enhanced tracking protection is working??

When you visit a site and see a shield icon in the address bar, then you will know the feature is working and is active on your browser. The shield icon shows that Firefox is blocking thousands of companies from your online activity.

And, if you want to see which companies blocked, click on the shield icon, go to the Content Blocking section, then Cookies. It should read Blocking Tracking Cookies. Then, click on the arrow on the right-hand side, and you’ll see the companies listed as third party cookies that Firefox has blocked—Of course, you might want a little freedom, and  want to turn off the blocking for a specific site, then click on the Turn off Blocking for this Site button.

How can I download Firefox 69?

Firefox 69 is available for Windows and macOS from its official website. Existing Firefox users will be able to upgrade to version 69 automatically.

Android version of Firefox 69 is slowly rolling out on Google Play.

Other improvements in Firefox 69

Here’s the full Firefox 69 for desktop changelog:

  • Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) rolls out stronger privacy protections. The default standard setting for this feature now blocks third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers. The optional strict setting blocks fingerprints as well as the items blocked in the standard setting.
  • The Block Autoplay feature is enhanced to give users the option to block any video that automatically starts playing, not just those that automatically play with sound.
  • For our users in the US or using the en-US browser, we are shipping a new “New Tab” page experience that connects you to the best of Pocket’s content.
  • Support for the Web Authentication HmacSecret extension via Windows Hello now comes with this release, for versions of Windows 10 May 2019 or newer, enabling more passwordless experiences on the web.
  • Support for receiving multiple video codecs with this release makes it easier for WebRTC conferencing services to mix video from different clients.
  • For our users on Windows 10, you’ll see performance and UI improvements. Firefox will give Windows hints to appropriately set content process priority levels, meaning more processor time spent on the tasks you’re actively working on, and less processor time spent on things in the background (with the exception of video and audio playback). For our existing Windows 10 users, you can easily find and launch Firefox from a shortcut on the Win10 taskbar.
  • For our users on macOS, battery life and download UI are both improved. macOS users on dual-graphics-card machines (like MacBook Pro) will switch back to the low-power GPU more aggressively, saving battery life. Finder on macOS now displays download progress for files being downloaded.
  • JIT support comes to ARM64 for improved performance of our JavaScript Optimizing JIT compiler.
  • Various security fixes.
  • As previously announced in the Plugin Roadmap for Firefox, the “Always Activate” option for Flash plugin content has been removed. Firefox will now always ask for user permission before activating Flash content on a website.
  • With the deprecation of Adobe Flash Player, there is no longer a need to identify users on 32-bit version of the Firefox browser on 64-bit version operating systems reducing user agent fingerprinting factors providing greater level of privacy to our users as well as improving the experience of downloading other apps.
  • Firefox no longer loads userChrome.css or userContent.css by default improving start-up performance. Users who wish to customize Firefox by using these files can set the toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets preference to true to restore this ability.
  • For Enterprise system administrators that manage macOS computers, we begin shipping a Mozilla signed PKG installer to simplify your deployments.
  • For our mobile web developers, we have migrated remote debugging from the old WebIDE into a re-designed about:debugging, making debugging GeckoView on remote devices via USB rock solid.
  • The new event listener breakpoint feature allows developers to pause on a host of different event types, whether it be related to animations, DOM, media, mouse, touch, worker, and many other event types.
  • Firefox Developer Tools now offers an audit for the presence of text alternatives for non-text content, the a11y panel checks toolbar has been augmented to better help developers adhere to WCAG Guideline 1.1.

Mozilla releases new Firefox versions every six to eight weeks, and Firefox 70 is currently slated for mid-October.

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