27 September 2023

Firefox continues its fight for privacy

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Firefox is automatically stripping URL trackers, Ioanna Lykiardopoulou* says query parameters open a quiet, but pervasive window to your online privacy.

Mozilla has rolled out Firefox version 102, which takes an extra step in preventing websites from tracking your movements on the web.

The new version automatically strips query parameters in a URL string.

These are the series of letters, numbers, and symbols following the question mark at the second part of certain URLs.

For example:


Query parameters open a pervasive window into your online privacy and can feed your personal data to sites that are keeping tabs on user behaviour.

To activate the new anti-tracking feature, go to Firefox Settings, click on Privacy & Security, and change Enhanced Tracking Protection to Strict.

Mind you, query parameters won’t be stripped in private browsing, even with the Strict Mode activated.

To enable the feature in Private Mode, type “about:config” in the address bar, and then “strip” in the search function.

Set the third option to “true,” and you’re good to go.

Mozilla warns that some sites might not work properly when using Enhanced Tracking Protection in Strict Mode.

In that case, you can switch back to Standard, which doesn’t offer the anti-tracking feature.

Privacy at the top of the list

Firefox’s default privacy settings are more proactive than those of other mainstream browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Safari.

Specifically, it blocks social media trackers, cryptominers, fingerprinters, cross-site and third-party cookies, and overall tracking content in all windows.

So is it bulletproof? No, no browser fully is.

And even with the new updated version, you have to tweak most of the security settings yourself in Strict or Custom Mode.

Brave, on the other hand, offers these options by default.

Nevertheless, if privacy is your main concern Firefox does a stellar job and we can expect further improvements in the future.

Especially if you’re considering getting away from Chrome’s (or Google’s) constant monitoring.

*Ioanna Lykiardopoulou is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she’s all about shifting perspectives.

This article first appeared at thenextweb.com.

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