In the previous article on Internet Privacy, we saw why trackers track you. In this article, we will check on how to prevent those trackers from tracking you. If you are interested in bettering your privacy in the internet, follow the whole Internet Privacy Series right here on thetqweb!
If you have been following this series, you already know that we will be using the Firefox browser. (In case you do not have it yet, Download it to follow along!)
Tracker Blocking with Firefox Browser
Websites Tracking Protections
Firefox is built to block Trackers by default in the background. To view what trackers are being blocked or the trackers that have been detected, while on a website, click on the Enhanced Tracking Protection status and information, which is the shield next to the HTTPS security padlock, next to the browser’s address bar:
Firefox gives you the chance to manage your tracking, so you can turn on && off the Enhanced Tracking Protection for a specific website by just clicking on the toggle button “Enhanced Tracking Protection is ON for this site“. This may require a reload for the specific website you just turned OFF/ON tracking for.
Firefox also allows you to view all the trackers that it has blocked in a definite period of 1 week (the past 1 week inclusive of today). To access this report, click on “Protections Dashboard” in the Enhanced Tracking Protection status and information (the above screenshot).
Alternatively, to access the report, you can click on the Firefox menu and click on “Protections Dashboard“:
Alternatively, you could also enter “about:protections“ in the browser’s address bar, which will land you in the same page:
Enhanced Privacy Protection settings
Beyond the Protections Dashboard, you can manage the Enhanced Tracking Protection settings. These can be accessed in several ways, just like the dashboard. All the methods result in the same landing page about “Browser Privacy” where “Enhanced Privacy Protection” settings should be the the first subtitle with a set of options.
While still on the Protections Dashboard, you can click on the settings icon with “Manage your privacy and security settings” next to it.
You can also click on the Enhanced Tracking Protection status and information, which is the shield, next to the address bar and the HTTPS security paddlock, like in the first procedure on this article, and click on “Protections Settings“:
Alternatively, enter “about:preferences#privacy” on the browser’s address bar.
When you land at the above page, you have a variety of options that you can use to customize your browser’s tracking protectons settings. For maximum control on specific protection settings, in the above screenshot I have chosen to use custom settings to choose for myself what trackers and scripts to block. In the above screenshot, I have selected block all the trackers and scripts.
All the above options are familiar, except maybe the “Cryptominers” option.
Cryptominers are scripts that are craftily developed by cryptojackers to exploit the capability of your computer, in terms of Processor, Memory and Graphics. These scripts are meant to use up your computer’s resources (CPU, RAM && GPU) to perform cryptocurrency mining activities. Since cryptocurrencies are added to their corresponding pools by mining, cryptominers (people) are paid to do these mining tasks, but because mining cryptocurrencies is power intensive, cryptojackers write these scripts to avoid high power costs, therefore making you pay for them (because the power costs will be reflected in your power bill), if they succeed infecting your machine.
For the Cookies option, there are several options, all of which are self explanatory. Be careful to not break sites by the last options “All Cookies“:
Below all the custom options, there is a very crucial setting, about sending websites the “Do Not Track” signal to explicitly tell them that you do not want to be tracked:
In addition to blocking trackers and scripts, Firefox allows you to select if you wanna turn OFF/ON Enhanced Tracking Protection for specific sites, which can only be done whilst on the specific website by just clicking on the toggle button “Enhanced Tracking Protection is ON for this site“, as seen in the first screenshot:
To manage any and all the websites that you have chosen to turn off Enhanced Tracking Protection OFF, click on “Manage Exceptions…” while on the Enhanced Tracking Protections Settings. There you can choose to remove specific websites from the exceptions list, or you can remove all of them at once:
Blocking Trackers via Firefox Extensions
Now that we have exhausted all the ways that Firefox blocks trackers, which is impressive, we can look at other alternative and/or additional ways of blocking Internet trackers, still in Firefox. The other effective method of blocking trackers is using addons of type extension.
To install extensions in Firefox, use any of the following ways;
–> Use the keyboard combination Ctrl + Shift + A in Windows and navigate to Extensions
–> Alternatively, navigate to the Firefox menu and click on Add-ons
–> Alternatively, open Firefox Settings/Options and click on Extensions & Themes
–> Alternatively, in the address bar, enter about:addons and hit Enter
All the three ways above should land you in the following Firefox page:
In the Search addons.mozilla.org search box, you can for any Firefox extensions you know about, whose purpose is to block trackers.
I did a deep dive in the search for “tracker blockers”, with the filter being; extensions Recommended by Firefox && sorted by most popular in terms of Number of Users. The following were the top five results:
The results of the search as seen above included; Facebook Container (Mozilla Firefox) – meant for blocking specifically Facebook aand Facebook products trackers and DuckDuckGo Privacy Extension (DuckDuckGo), Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker (Ghostery),Privacy Badger (EFF Technologists) & Adblocker Ultimate (Advoid) – all meant for general trackers blocking.
The above search was not targeted at finding specific extensions, but rather, was a search purely for top tracker blockers. Therefore, thetqweb.com is in no way affiliated with the extension’s publishers/developers, nor are we promoting any of the above Firefox extensions. We [thetqweb.com] are also in no way affiliated with DuckDuckGo, its developers and Duck Duck Go, Inc. nor the Firefox/Mozilla Firefox browser, its developers and the Mozilla Foundation. Therefore, we are also not promoting DuckDuckGo search engine and DuckDuckGo products nor the Firefox browser, but instead recognizing the noble work being done by the Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corporation and DuckDuckGo, among other organizations in the campaign against Internet Tracking and thus Internet Privacy!
How to Prevent Trackers from Tracking you on the Internet