Social networks place trackers on other websites to follow what you do, see, and watch online. This allows social media companies to collect data about your browsing history and improve their ad targeting. Even if you don’t use a social network, that site can still collect data about your browsing habits.
Social media trackers Firefox blocks and doesn’t block
Firefox blocks the most common trackers from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that appear on other websites.
The default setting is balanced for protection and performance. Pages will still load normally.
Strict blocks more trackers, but may cause some sites to break. Go to your global privacy preferences to set your Enhanced Tracking Protection settings to Strict.
Social media companies will still be able to collect data about you on their own social networks, including Facebook-owned services like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Logging in to sites using your Facebook or Twitter account is another way social networks can collect data about you.
Want even more protection against Facebook? Facebook like and share buttons on other websites allow Facebook to track your browsing activity, even if you never click them. To strip these buttons of Facebook trackers, add the Facebook Container extension.
Cross-site tracking cookies
Cross-site tracking cookies follow you from site to site to gather data about what you do online. This is most often done without your knowledge or consent. Data firms and analytics companies use these cookies to track you, profile you, make inferences about your interests, and retarget you with ads. Because these cookies are set by a different company than the website you’re on, they’re also referred to as third-party tracking cookies.
Cookies Firefox blocks and doesn’t block
By default, Firefox blocks the cookies that track your browsing activity across multiple websites. This includes cross-site tracking cookies set by ad, social media, and analytics companies. Other cookies, such as those that remember your login credentials or items in your shopping cart, are still permitted by default.
Cryptominers are a type of malware that use your system’s computing power to mine digital money. Cryptomining scripts drain your battery, slow down your computer, and can increase your energy bill. When your privacy settings are set to Standard (the Firefox default) or Strict, cryptominers are being blocked.
Generating cryptocurrencies usually requires solving a complex cryptologic puzzle, a resource-intensive process that takes a lot of computing energy and power. To evade the cost, cryptojackers deploy these scripts on other people’s computers without their consent to draw energy and power.
Many websites load external ads, videos, and other content with tracking code from other companies. For example, a website may embed a video from a video platform. The code that loads the video contains trackers. Blocking tracking content can make sites load much faster, but parts of pages might not work correctly or appear at all.
Tracking content can include:
Videos and photos
By default, tracking content is blocked in Private Windows only. To add this protection for all windows, go to the Firefox menu , click Preferences, select the Privacy & Security panel and choose Strict under Enhanced Tracking Protection.
If parts of a webpage don’t work or the site appears to be broken, click the shield in the address bar to toggle off protections for that site. This will allow all content to load, including trackers. See this article's section on how to turn off Enhanced Tracking Protection for details.
Fingerprinters collect settings from your browser and computer to create a profile of you. Using this digital fingerprint, they can create a unique profile of you to track you across different websites. When your privacy settings are set to Standard (the Firefox default) or Strict, domains that are known fingerprinters are being blocked. See this blog post for details.
These are some of the characteristics of your device and browser that fingerprints can collect:
Extensions you use
Operating system and model of your device
Screen resolution and language
Information about your network connection
Fonts installed on your computer