Privacy has become a major issue for almost everyone. Few people agree to give their personal information each time they connect to the Internet. Fortunately, Firefox helps you maintain your online privacy in several ways. There are many Firefox addons to choose from to protect your privacy online.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best Firefox privacy add-ons that you can use to protect your data online. Most of these options are now available in Firefox for PC and Android.
To note: Most of the add-ons in this list are also available for Google Chrome and Opera (except Firefox-specific features). If you’re a Safari user (Mac or iOS), see our Safari Privacy Guide.
HTTPS ensures that data transmitted between your browser and a website is encrypted. This means that browsing is safer because no transmitted information can be intercepted. HTTPS only ensures that your browser will only connect to sites where HTTPS is enabled.
Previously, the HTTPS Everywhere extension was recommended for this purpose, but since Firefox’s built-in HTTPS Only has the same functionality, we’re replacing it in this list (even though it’s not technically an add-on).
To enable HTTPS only:
- Open the Firefox browser.
- Click on the three horizontal lines at the top right of the window and select Settings.
- To select Privacy and Security.
- Scroll down to where it says HTTPS mode only and click the check mark next to Enable HTTPS only mode on all windows.
The developers of uBlock Origin call it a “broad-spectrum content blocker” rather than just an ad blocker. uBlock blocks trackers, ads, popups and coin miners. It also deletes specific page elements by selecting element deletion mode from the toolbar.
Previously, the Clear URLs plugin was a recommended privacy extension that removed tracking elements from URLs. However, uBlock Origin now includes AdGuard URL Tracking Protection, which does the same job, meaning you only need one extension.
uBlock Origin has the best performance of all ad blockers. It’s also open source, with various developers on Github contributing to the plugin. Other ad blockers are often closed source and sell user data to third party companies (e.g. Ghost).
uBlock Origin is probably the best privacy plugin overall. Similar plugins such as Privacy Badger, DuckDuckGo Privacy Basics and Unscripted Security Suite are not required if you are using uBlock. However, if uBlock doesn’t work for you, these are great alternatives.
Multi-Account Containers is a Mozilla Firefox add-on that separates your online activity into different “accounts”. This helps prevent websites from tracking your online browsing habits.
With multi-account containers, you can separate your browsing activity (and therefore cookies) into separate containers. For example, you can use a Facebook bucket, a search engine bucket, and an Amazon bucket. This way, one website won’t be able to learn about your activity on another site, so your search results won’t influence the ads you receive.
Another added feature of multi-account containers is that you can log into multiple accounts for the same site simultaneously, giving you a better browsing experience.
Most tracking that occurs on the Internet is done through cookies. They can be useful on various websites (like remembering your shopping cart). Yet they allow websites to track your activity and exploit your personal data.
Multi-account containers can help you manage them and prevent them from creating a specific character for you, but that’s not the end of the story. To increase your privacy, you should constantly manage and delete unwanted cookies.
Cookie AutoDelete is a Firefox extension that deletes cookies each time you close a website or tab. However, you can whitelist sites if you want to keep your cookies. This gives you tighter control over which websites you allow to be tracked.
However, starting with Firefox 89, Mozilla offers the Full cookie protection feature (enabled via “strict” setting for better tracking protection). This privacy feature is known as Dynamic First Party Isolation (dFPI) and creates a separate cookie location for each website to prevent trackers and fingerprints from tracking you.
LocalCDN is a recommended browser extension that complements uBlock (or another ad blocker). Many websites use third-party content delivery networks (CDNs) from companies like Google and Cloudflare to download assets. However, these companies can track your activity through this connection.
LocalCDN improves your privacy by preventing your data from leaking through CDN requests. As a bonus, it also improves your bandwidth. However, its functionality can break specific sites.
Decentraleyes is an alternative plugin that serves the same purpose. However, LocalCDN is updated much more frequently and has a larger database.
Please note that Firefox Full Cookie Protection already isolates site data in your web browser so that CDNs can only access your IP address. And even that can be protected by masking your IP address, which is generally recommended by privacy experts anyway.
Confidentiality is paramount
Protecting your privacy online is one of the most important things you can do these days. Your personal information is targeted wherever it goes. Although it is usually used just to target you with relevant advertisements, it also means that your identity and personal information are at risk.
With a high-quality VPN, the right browser settings, and great privacy plugins, you can make sure your data is safe.
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