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 Protectionand thanks to it, Firefox now touts itself as “the most private and secure major browser available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.”
Whether Firefox really is the better browser remains to be seen, but the full cookie protection certainly kicks things up a notch when it comes to privacy. Will it be enough to help Firefox stand out from the competition?
Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection Tool isn’t exactly a new feature. It was first introduced in 2021, but it was never enabled by default – you had to enable it manually for it to work.
Moreover, the use of Firefox in “privacy” mode also activated this feature. Therefore, many users may not have been aware of its existence, but now Firefox has rolled it out to all browser users, ensuring that it is always enabled without the need to change any settings.
The illustration above perfectly illustrates what the new pride of Firefox brings to users. Total cookie protection locks browser cookies only for the site that created them, instead of letting them follow you around the web. Cookies are often used as a means of preparing targeted advertisements on many websites. This is why, for example, if you buy clothes online, you will then see advertisements from the retailer you have just browsed.
These ads will follow you around unrelated corners of the Internet, reminding you of the time you visited this site. Thanks to the new Firefox tool, this phenomenon could be greatly reduced. Firefox has described how the tool works in a very accessible way. Total Cookie Protection essentially creates a separate “jar” for each website’s cookies. Without this feature, your browser’s cookies all sit in one big common jar that every website can peek into and gather information about your browsing habits.
With Firefox, each website can only know what you are doing within the confines of its own pages. Cookies remain securely locked, and each site can tap into its own jar, but it does not have access to other jars. As Mozilla says in its blog,
“It’s an alarming reality – the possibility that your every move online will be observed, tracked and shared. […]
No other website can reach into cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what other websites’ cookies know about you – freeing you from invasive ads and reducing the amount of information companies collect about you .”
Full cookie protection still leaves third-party cookies to provide accurate analytics, which websites certainly need, if only to deliver the kind of content users want to see. However, it should eliminate the ability of these cookies to track your web-wide activity.
Firefox boosts privacy by giving “total cookie protection” to all users by default https://t.co/9BgvRrQXMc pic.twitter.com/IejZX4KQs8
— The Verge (@verge) June 14, 2022
Mozilla Firefox has focused on privacy and security for quite some time, rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection to all users in 2019. Despite the security provided by the browser, it still lags behind its competitors. According to Statcounter, Google Chrome is the absolute king of browsers, with a market share of 64.95% in May 2022. It is followed by Safari with 19%, Microsoft Edge with 3.99%, and finally, Firefox with 3, 26%, marking a decrease compared to the previous year. Beating Google Chrome might be next to impossible for Firefox, but Total Cookie Protection should definitely help it attract new users. If you’re tired of seeing intrusive ads all over the web, download the latest version of Firefox and give it a try.