A quick guide to Add-Ons and other techniques that can help Mozilla Firefox help you protect your privacy while online. It isn’t exhaustive. It is a start.
Use a privacy aware browser: https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/mission/
UBlock – and its active community of privacy aware folk – is now approaching its seventh birthday. Use it in Firefox to block many online trackers and other sites that you might feel invade your privacy.
Google, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn
Block Google Analytics in Firefox: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/
Setup Firefox to use your own Multi-Account Container and decide which sites to “ring-fence”: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account-containers/
OR use already constructed Containers for the large and popular platforms:
- Facebook Container: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-container/
- Google Container: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-container/
- Twitter Container: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/twitter-container/
- LinkedIn Container: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/linkedin-container/
“Personalised” Advertising – How to Get Nothing For Nothing
From Google’s Privacy Site: “Where sites or apps have implemented Google Analytics with other Google Advertising products, like Google Ads, additional advertising identifiers may be collected. Users can opt-out of this feature and manage their settings for this cookie using the Ads Settings”
You can click the link that follows. If you do it will take you to “doubleclick.net” and allow you to manage your settings.
Alternatively, you may wish to do away with allowing any tracking by the Ad-Giant – and a great many other firms – by installing UBlock: https://ublockorigin.com/
To Manage your doubleclick settings, instead, go to: http://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/
I am not a …
From Google’s Privacy Site: “Where a site or app uses Google Analytics for Apps or the Google Analytics for Firebase SDKs, Google Analytics collects an app-instance identifier — a randomly generated number that identifies a unique installation of an App. Whenever a user resets their Advertising Identifier (Advertising ID on Android, and ID for Advertisers on iOS), the app-instance identifier is also reset”
The above is true for a great many sites besides Google.
You can reset – or turn off completely – the “Advertising Identification Services” on any of the following platforms:
- On iOS: See Settings > Privacy
- On Windows 10: See Settings > Privacy
- On Android, following this guide may help: https://www.androidguys.com/tips-tools/how-to-disable-personalized-ads-on-android/
From Google’s Privacy Site: “Google Analytics also collects Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to provide and protect the security of the service, and to give website owners a sense of which country, state, or city in the world their users come from (also known as “IP geolocation”). Google Analytics provides a method to mask IPs that are collected (detailed below) but note that website owners have access to their users’ IP addresses even if the website owners do not use Google Analytics.”
Your ISP may offer you “Dynamic IP Address” assignment. If it does, use it to help further cover your online footprints.
There seems to be a growing appreciation of how important privacy is to the fair and equitable functioning of the Internet. This did not come about by accident. It has taken the foresight, hard-work, and dedication of many activists, technologist, politicians and journalists to get us this far.
The “big-four” are to be thanked for their contributions to making the system they rely on to function – one that plays an ever growing part in the lives of many people – a safer environment in which to be.