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The news of Facebook’s collection of personal information, and then reselling it to third parties, has captured security minded Internet users front & center. And now with the revelations of security intrusions designed to capture that data, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, a large number of Facebook users are outright leaving the social media behemoth.
Multiple tech titans and corporations have completely ceased their Facebook activities over security concerns and completely deleted their Facebook presence.
Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, has designed an add-on for its popular Firefox browser that addresses the Facebook privacy issue.
Last month, Mozilla announced that it was suspending all of its Facebook advertising – citing concerns that the social network’s current default privacy settings are not protecting users.
And now Mozilla has announced a new Firefox add-on – called Facebook Container – that “isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity.”
Here’s what Facebook Container does in Mozilla’s own words:
Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook identity into a separate container that makes it harder for Facebook to track your visits to other websites with third-party cookies.
Installing this extension deletes your Facebook cookies and logs you out of Facebook. The next time you navigate to Facebook it will load in a new blue colored browser tab (the “Container”).
You can log in and use Facebook normally when in the Facebook Container. If you click on a non-Facebook link or navigate to a non-Facebook website in the URL bar, these pages will load outside of the container.
In addition, Facebook Container can block the Facebook social widgets and buttons that are distributed liberally across the internet, embedded on countless websites that can silently track your surfing.
In simple language, you can continue to use Facebook normally. And Facebook can continue to display advertising to you.
But with Facebook Container installed, the social network will find it much more difficult to track any of your activity outside of Facebook. This means less of those creepy, intrusive targeted messages.
You can read more details of how the Facebook Container browser extension works on the Firefox blog, but it’s worth noting:
Facebook’s current app permissions leave billions of its users vulnerable without knowing it. If you play games, read news or take quizzes on Facebook, chances are you are doing those activities through third-party apps and not through Facebook itself. The default permissions that Facebook gives to those third parties currently include data from your education and work, current city and posts on your timeline.
Plus, there’s at least one other important point to underline:
Running Facebook Container doesn’t protect you from any of the data abuses detailed in the recent Cambridge Analytica debacle, which saw the profile data of some 50 million Facebook users fall into unauthorized hands.
Equally, running Facebook Container is no replacement for the various other layers of protection you may wish to have in place when surfing online – such as a VPN, ad-blocking software, anti-virus, and Tor.
But big kudos to Mozilla! They know many Facebook users are concerned about better protecting their privacy and dislike some of the ways that the social network operates, but aren’t yet ready to make a clean break. For them, Facebook Container is a neat addition.
The best solution of all, of course, is simply to quit Facebook permanently.
Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!
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