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Security & privacy

This browser will warn you if you visit hacked sites

Navigating the internet is already a tricky enough affair without having to worry about data breaches, malware, viruses and all those other precarious, potentially dangerous parts of surfing the web.

Firefox manufacturer Mozilla is looking to make this a little easier, with a new feature included in one of its newest iteration of the popular browser.

How Firefox can help protect you online

The latest version of the Firefox Quantum web browser now has a built-in alert that can let users know when they visit websites that were previously reported as part of data breaches. It’s called Firefox Monitor, If you were to make your way to a website, either deliberately or by accident, the new security feature will notify you in your browser that it could have been breached in the past 12 months.

The alert will read something like “Have an account on this site? More than 500,000 account from Example Domain were compromised in 2018. Check Firefox Monitor to see if yours is at risk.” From there, you can check the feature’s databases to see if your personal information was part of the breach the website experienced.

The information is sourced from the free database Have I Been Pwned, an official Firefox partner, which is integrated into the browser itself.

After the first alert, Firefox will only repeat it if you visit a site that was breached within the past two months, so it’s not something you’ll have to contend with often. If you already keep a pretty close eye on this stuff already, you can also opt out of it.

It’s still an incredibly useful tool to have, even if you don’t need the additional assistance, as websites are hacked at a frighteningly exponential rates. If your information is floating around out there in the ether, you’re at risk for identity theft and a host of other nasty things.

If you prefer to check on the status of your email address directly without having to use Firefox Monitor’s built-in functionality, you can always opt to check it manually via Firefox’s landing page here. It’s a good practice to stay in the know and change your passwords often – it could end up saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.

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