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article imageFirefox Monitor to alert users if accounts are hacked

By Ken Hanly     Sep 26, 2018 in Internet
Mozilla, the creator of Firefox, announced earlier this year the Firefox Monitor. This service tells users if their online accounts were hacked.
The Firefox Monitor
All the user need do is provide the Monitor with your email address. The Monitor uses the Have I Been Pwned database to show you if you need to worry and what data has been compromised if any has. Today Mozilla went further by letting you sign up to have alerts when your accounts appear in any known breaches. When it was initially launched the Firefox Monitor was considered an experimental service but now it is being recognized as an official service.
Even if none of your accounts have yet to be hacked you still will find the alert feature of the Monitor useful since the chances are that sooner or later your email address will show up in the database of breaches. When Mozilla first asked what they wanted in Monitor notifications about future breaches was of high importance on most users" lists.
The Monitor alert service is just one of several new data and privacy features that the organization plans to add over the next few months. Mozilla came up with a much revamped and revised Firefox 57 version last November as discussed in a Digital Journal article at the time.
The new version is faster than its rival Chrome.
Firefox announces that it will soon by default block any attempts at cross-site tracking
The move was announced in August and there are three parts to the strategy. First, in version 63 which is in the testing phase Firefox will block all slow-loading trackers. Ads are the biggest offender in this category. These are trackers that take more than five seconds to load.
When Firefox 65 rolls out the browser will strip out all cookies and block all storage access from third party trackers. Mozilla is also working on blocking cryptomining scrips and trackers that fingerprint users. The timing of these changes will depend upon how tests work out.
Nick Nguyen of Mozilla writes: “In the physical world, users wouldn’t expect hundreds of vendors to follow them from store to store, spying on the products they look at or purchase. Users have the same expectations of privacy on the web, and yet in reality, they are tracked wherever they go. Most web browsers fail to help users get the level of privacy they expect and deserve.”
You can try the new features by downloading and installing the unstable Firefox Nightly release. In the privacy settings you can find the new tracker blocking feature under the "Content Blocking". The browser explains how it all works. Safari users may find all this fuss about the new privacy features a bit boring since Apple already announced similar features for the browser last year.
Nguyen writes: “Blocking pop-up ads in the original Firefox release was the right move in 2004, because it didn’t just make Firefox users happier, it gave the advertising platforms of the time a reason to care about their users’ experience. In 2018, we hope that our efforts to empower our users will have the same effect."
Chrome still by far the leading browser
According to statcounter the recent market share of browsers puts Chrome far ahead with 59.67 percent while Safari the Apple browser has 14.5 percent. Third is UC with 6.28 and then FIrefox with 4.93. Opera has 3.5 and obsolete Internet Explorer still has 3.03 percent. Over the last year Chrome has been gaining over other browsers. The new Firefox so far does not seem to have gained many new users. With the privacy complaints about the most recent release of Chrome perhaps Firefox will do better.
More about Firefox, Firefox monitor, Mozilla