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Firefox will now block third-party trackers by default. This is thanks to a new feature called Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) that was previously only available in private windows. Going forward, it will be the default setting for everyone using Firefox.
What Are Third-Party Trackers?
Every time you go online you’re tracked in some way. Usually by ad companies who are trying to find out more about you in order to serve you ads you’re likely to click on. Every website you visit and every link you click is tracked by browser cookies.
It’s important to note that online trackers aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Without them, ad companies will serve you the least useful ads imaginable. With them, they’re at least able to zero in on the products and services that interest you.
Still, most people still see third-party trackers as a bad thing. Which is why Firefox is rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection.
How to Block Trackers in Firefox
Enhanced Tracking Protection is a new Firefox feature which prevents a long list of third-party trackers from tracking you. Mozilla, the developer behind Firefox, is using the list maintained by Disconnect, which currently runs to more than 1,000 trackers.
Once Enhanced Tracking Protection has been enabled, these trackers will be prevented from tracking you. From today, anyone installing Firefox for the first time will have ETP enabled by default. Existing users will follow suit in the coming months.
To enable Enhanced Tracking Protection early, open the Settings menu, then click on Privacy and Security. Under Content Blocking, click on the Custom option, tick the Cookies box, and make sure “Third-party trackers” is selected. And then you’re all set.
There are more options available in this menu, but we would recommend sticking with the Custom setting outlined above. While it may be tempting to select Strict, blocking all trackers from working, that will likely cause websites to break for you.
Tracking Cookies Can Be Useful
As mentioned previously, tracking cookies can be useful, even where online advertising is concerned. However, if you would rather see ads that aren’t targeting your specific interests, Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection should serve you well.
Whether you’re a dedicated Firefox user who looks down your nose at Chrome users or are just starting out with Mozilla’s browser, here’s our complete guide to managing Firefox bookmarks and our list of must-know tips for using Firefox tabs.