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Security & privacy

Mozilla now has a Firefox extension that stops Facebook from tracking you

Whether you Like it or not, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are the current media punching bags. Everyone, from political and tech pundits to Hollywood comedians are weighing in, taking turns poking the social media giant – as if it’s one big 2-billion-user-strong elephant in the room that has a huge bullseye on its profile pic.

All of this came, of course, after the whole Cambridge Analytica brouhaha, where the data analytics firm is being accused of having pilfered the data of 50 million Facebook users acquired through a third-party app.

That information is said to have been used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and the rest, as they say, is history (or part of your Timeline or Memories or whatever Facebook calls its Newsfeed these days.)

In the midst of all this shuffling and hustling about Facebook and its privacy rules (or lack thereof), we gave you tons of options of what you can do with your Facebook account. We told you how to deactivate or delete, tweak settings, and turn off sketchy third-party apps, if you may so wish.

Or you can just go on with your Facebook life and keep doing Facebook-ey things (like sharing and liking baby pics, laughing at cat memes, posting that lovely casserole pic, and of course humble bragging. Oh, the simplicity of the good old Facebook days.)

If you can’t afford to lose your Facebook account because it’s still that valuable and indispensable tool you use to communicate with friends and family, don’t worry. You can use this free download from Mozilla to at least prevent Facebook from tracking you when you go about doing your business around the web.

Firefox Facebook Container

Ever playing the role of the current good guys of tech, Mozilla has just released a new Firefox browser extension called “Facebook Container.”

Facebook Container is an extension that puts your Facebook activity in its separate tab, isolating it from your other browser activity.

By sandboxing your Facebook profile, this extension will keep Facebook trackers from seeing your activity on other websites. This means Facebook won’t know what sites you’ve been visiting, what items you’ve been shopping for or what ads you’ve been clicking on.

How does it work?

Once you install the Facebook Container extension on your Firefox browser, it will automatically log you out of Facebook and delete all your Facebook cookies from Firefox.

Next, when sign back into Facebook using Firefox, it will be in the blue colored “Container” tab.

You can then use Facebook normally while the Container is enabled but when you navigate to a non-Facebook URL or website, it will load outside the Container.

What you lose with Facebook Container

We’ve talked about Facebook Platform recently and how turning it off will affect sites and services that you use your Facebook account to log in through. The case is the same with Firefox’s Facebook Container.

If you’ve linked your Facebook profile to sites like Spotify, Quora, Airbnb, these sites may no longer work properly while you’re in the Facebook Container.

Same with embedded Facebook share, comments and like buttons on websites (like the ones we use here at, they may no longer work if you use them outside your Facebook Container session.

However, Mozilla said that clicking Facebook Share buttons on other non-Container tabs will still load them within Facebook Container and will still pass the website’s information to Facebook.

What Facebook Container cannot stop

Mozilla stressed in Facebook Container’s description that it will not “prevent Facebook from mishandling the data that it already has, or permitted others to obtain, about you.”

This means Facebook will still have access to everything that you do or ever did while on Facebook so it’s still your responsibility to check and audit your data.

Mozilla’s “sound” approach

It’s interesting to note that Mozilla is taking a proactive approach in this whole Facebook data privacy matter. Instead of throwing Facebook under the bus with kneejerk reactions, the company is giving Facebook users the ultimate choice.

Mozilla stated that “rather than stop using a service that you find valuable,” it thinks that “you should have tools to limit what data others can obtain.” And that’s a pretty sound approach, don’t you think? We are all and should be masters of our own Facebook data (or any other kind of data for that matter.)

How to install Facebook Container

Ready to “contain” Facebook? Here’s how to get this Firefox extension.

1. First, make sure you are using Mozilla’s Firefox Quantum browser. It’s a highly recommended browser with around-the-clock tracking protection.

2. Next, click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the upper-right corner of the browser then select Add-Ons.

3. On the Add-ons page, click on Extensions then search for “Facebook Container.” It should show up as the first result.

4. Next, click install and a little “Add Facebook Container” popup box will appear. Choose “Add.”

5. Congratulations! Your Facebook activity now has its own “Container.” Enjoy your newfound privacy!

In other news, this Facebook privacy setting doesn’t do anything

Facebook policies and terms of service come and go but it looks like this particular privacy setting is stuck in time. Click here to see what it is.

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