Forward-looking: Mozilla is also working to enable fingerprinting protections by default in a future release. Fingerprinting is a tracking technique that involves capturing a snapshot of your computer's configuration and following it around the web. For now, you’ll have to turn on “Strict Mode” to enable it.
The latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, out now for Windows, macOS, Linux and Android, now blocks third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers by default.
First enabled for new users in June, Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks known third-party tracking cookies based on tracking prevention lists maintained by Disconnect. On sites where it is activated, you’ll see a shield icon in the address bar.
You can even click the shield icon to view which companies Mozilla is blocking. Simply navigate to the Content Blocking section, then Cookies and click the arrow beside Blocking Tracking Cookies to see a list of companies being blocked.
At present, Mozilla said over 20 percent of Firefox users have the feature enabled but that figure should climb sharply with Firefox 69.
The new Firefox also blocks cryptominers by default. These malicious programs essentially steal your hardware’s processing power to generate cryptocurrency for someone else. This results in sluggish performance, unnecessary wear and tear on your hardware and increased electric bills.
This really only scratches the surface as Firefox 69 also introduces the Block Autoplay feature to block any video that starts autoplaying, not just those with sound. There’s also a “New Tab” page experience, support for the Web Authentication HmacSecret extension via Windows Hello and for macOS users, improved battery life and download UI.
Masthead credit: Firefox browser by Sharaf Maksumov