Firefox Tracking Protection

So here’s something new I learned today… Firefox has a tracking protection mode.

For those not aware, many (most?) websites include tracking Javascript which provides third parties and the website owner with information about you. It’s not all evil but it does invade your privacy.
Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015
With tracking protection enabled Firefox will block known trackers and has the nice side effect of providing a major browsing speed up.

For a while I’ve configured Firefox to disable third-party cookies. I think it’s time to add enabling tracking protection to my list of new installation steps.

It’s important for the web that no single browser ever gets to the dominance that IE once had. Firefox dethroned IE but now Chrome is becoming dominant. It’s doubtful Chrome would ever implement privacy protecting feature like this – it hurts Google’s primary advertising business too much. If you care about the web and your privacy, consider using Firefox. A healthy number of Firefox users keeps the rest of the web browsers honest.

Social network privacy settings

From How to Lose Your Job on Your Own Time:

Personal disclosure is the norm on social networking sites. But the Pew study included an unexpected finding: Teenagers have the most sophisticated understanding of privacy controls on these sites, and they are far less likely than adults to permit their profiles to be visible to anyone and everyone.

If you are a teenager, restricting public access to your profile has the nice effect of restricting your parents access to your social network data. I suspect lots of teenagers have pictures from parties and other activities that they don’t want their parents to see. This makes me wonder how much the use of privacy controls by teenagers has to do with a desire for more privacy in a general sense versus hiding from mom and dad.

Teenagers are also much more under the control of other authority figures than most adults are. Teachers are a good example of this situation. It is dangerous to speak negatively about your teacher when there is no way to know that they are not following your online activities.

Monitoring how these same teenagers change their privacy settings as they mature and become more independent would be a very interesting study.