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Mozilla Firefox has just made changes to its browser

Mozilla Firefox has just made changes to its browser, making an existing feature available by default to all users. The tool is called Total Cookie Protection, and thanks to it, Firefox now calls itself “the most private and secure major browser available across Windows, Mac, and Linux.”

Whether Firefox is really the best browser remains to be seen, but Total Cookie Protection certainly kicks things up a notch where privacy is concerned. Will it be enough to help Firefox pull ahead of the competition?

An illustration of Firefox's Total Cookie Protection, with multiple hands reaching into cookie jars.Mozilla Firefox / Meghan Newell

Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection tool is not exactly a new feature. It was first introduced in 2021, but it was never on by default — you had to toggle it on manually in order for it to work. Alternatively, using Firefox in privacy mode enabled the feature as well. As a result, many users may have been unaware of its existence, but now Firefox has rolled it out to all users of the browsers, making sure it’s always on without needing to tweak the settings.

Firefox’s new pride and joy delivers to the users.

The illustration above does an excellent job of portraying what it is that Firefox’s new pride and joy delivers to the users. Total Cookie Protection locks the browser cookies only to the site that created them as opposed to letting them follow you around the web.

Cookies are often used as a means of preparing targeted ads across many websites. This is why, as an example, if you’re shopping for clothes online, you’ll then see ads from the retailer you just browsed. Those ads will follow you to completely unrelated corners of the internet, reminding you of that one time you looked at that one website. With Firefox’s new tool, this could be largely reduced.

Total Cookie Protection essentially creates a separate “jar” for each website’s cookies

Firefox described the way the tool works in a very approachable way. Total Cookie Protection essentially creates a separate “jar” for each website’s cookies. Without the feature, your browser cookies all sit in one big shared jar that every website can peek into and gather information about your browsing habits. Firefox makes it so that each website can only learn about what you’re doing within the boundaries of its own pages. The cookies remain safely locked, and each site can draw from its own jar, but it has no access to any of the other jars.

As Mozilla said in its blog post, “It’s an alarming reality — the possibility that your every move online is being watched, tracked, and shared. […] No other websites can reach into the cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what the other websites’ cookies know about you — giving you freedom from invasive ads and reducing the amount of information companies gather about you.”

Scheduling an email in Outlook in Firefox on a MacBook.

Total Cookie Protection still lets third-party cookies provide accurate analytics, which is something that websites certainly need, if only to provide the kind of content that the users want to see. However, it should eliminate the possibility of those cookies tracking your activity from all around the web.

Mozilla Firefox has emphasized privacy and security 

Mozilla Firefox has emphasized privacy and security for quite some time, rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection for all users in 2019. Despite the security provided by the browser, it still lags behind its competition. According to Statcounter, Google Chrome is the absolute king of the browsers, with a 64.95% market share as of May 2022. This is followed by Safari with 19%, Microsoft Edge with 3.99%, and finally, Firefox with 3.26%, marking a drop from the previous year.

Beating Google Chrome might be near-impossible for Firefox, but Total Cookie Protection should certainly help it draw in some new users. If you’re tired of seeing invasive ads all around the web, download the latest version of Firefox and give it a try.

Editors’ Recommendations

Mozilla Firefox Locks Its Browser’s Cookie Jar

On Tuesday, Mozilla and its Firefox browser announced Total Cookie Protection, a powerful way for Firefox to preserve privacy while allowing websites to recognize you and provide customized experiences.

Total Cookie Protection is rolling out to all Firefox users worldwide, the company announced on Tuesday. It will be on by default.

Here’s how Total Cookie Protection works: Websites place “cookies” in your browser, small identifying bits of code that allow the website to “know” that your browser represents you, a unique individual. But those websites can also track you across the web, either by reading the contents of other cookies stored within your browser or by using other sites to host the site’s code—such as in the code used by a website’s comments system, for example. Either way, those sites use that information to build up a profile of who you are and what you do on the web, and use that to show you advertising.

Firefox continues to be ranked highly among PCWorld’s best browsers

Mozilla said Tuesday that it recognizes that a website may want to identify you as you, either to log you in or show you a customized experience. But what Mozilla and Firefox will not do, via Trusted Cookie Protection, is allow those cookies to be read by other websites. Trusted Cookie Protection essentially builds a separate “cookie jar” for each site, and only that site.

“This approach strikes the balance between eliminating the worst privacy properties of third-party cookies—in particular the ability to track you—and allowing those cookies to fulfill their less invasive use cases (e.G. To provide accurate analytics),” Mozilla wrote. “With Total Cookie Protection in Firefox, people can enjoy better privacy and have the great browsing experience they’ve come to expect.”

Firefox continues to be ranked highly among PCWorld’s best browsers due to its strong privacy protections, and Total Cookie Protection should only continue that trend.


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