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Mozilla Firefox gets an improved Private browsing mode, to prevent more trackers

Mozilla Firefox gets an improved Private browsing mode, to prevent more trackers

by AshwinAugust 17, 2015

Mozilla has announced that it is improving the Private Browsing mode in its browser, Firefox.


Normally what the Private Browsing mode does is, it prevents the writing of offline data.

This includes keeping your browsing history, logins, as well as the session private. Private Browsing mode is especially useful when you are browsing on a public computer, or when multiple users use the same computer. In these circumstances, Private Browsing will help you by preventing others from spying on your browsing habits.

But people often confuse it with total anonymity, which it is not capable of. No matter what you do, your Internet Service Provider can still track your activity, and so can a few website plugins. You know what I’m talking about, online advertisements.

Ads not only chew up your bandwidth, but also track your browsing activity. You may have noticed this if you searched for some products, and then see ads about the products in many websites. You can use an ad-blocker to block ads, but it still may not prevent you from being tracked.

This is what Mozilla wants to improve. The browser maker, has announced that its latest version of pre-beta Firefox, has been designed to block more trackers, which are present in website elements. This includes ads, analytical, social services too.

But with more features, comes more bugs. Mozilla warns that blocking such web elements may cause the website from loading properly. To prepare for such scenarios, Mozilla has included a new feature called Control Center (also exclusive to pre-beta Firefox). This Control Center will allow users to unblock elements to load websites normally, and also contains additional tools for security and privacy.

Firefox add-on signing is now mandatory:

Mozilla has also announced that it has now enforced the signing of add-ons, which we have reported about earlier. The latest pre-beta version now requires all 3rd party add=ons to be signed (verified by Mozilla).

The browser maker says that add-ons have access to all information in Firefox, and some of them even posses the ability to add buttons or unwanted toolbars, besides tracking your data and also change your search settings. This doesn’t stop here, some malicious add-ons even inject ads or malware, and it is because of such add-ons that Mozilla wants all 3rd party add-ons to be verified.

But that doesn’t mean add-on signing cannot be disabled, you can easily turn it off from the preferences.