Like many, I moved to Chrome because Firefox was experiencing too many bugs and issues.
But wow, here in 2018 I discover (see article blow) that the latest Firefox is much improved and capable of better managing privacy.
I’ve been saying for some time, the shine has gone off Chrome (chuckles) which has become a shocker on two fronts: security and privacy.
I write this after switching back to Firefox so let’s see how it goes, stay tuned.
Update: 30 Days On
Well, old habits die hard. I switched but not all my browsing for reasons I’ll explain later.
The transition to Firefox was interesting in that one forgets how personalised a browser becomes.
I use a toolbar with my own unique groups of favourites that had to be migrated. I have add-ons that need to be installed. I also use LastPass (password management software) that needed to be installed and configured. Generally, all were easy to do and fairly seemless. On each occassion, I felt a little lost but got there in the end.
Rather than get into a long winded summary of for and against, here is a summary of good and bad Firefox:
- Good: defintely faster
- Bad: issues playing some YouTube videos although it appears to have fixed itself.
- Bad: search results – Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available
Article: The Age Digital Edition: Firefox to the rescue
I feel chrome stalks my every move. And while it tries to protect me, it so often gets it wrong with false security warnings.
Do you ever feel that the web is breaking? When shopping online for a toaster, you can expect an ad for that thing to stalk you from site to site. If you have just a few web browser tabs open, your laptop battery drains rapidly. And don’t get me started on those videos that automatically play when you’re scrolling through a webpage.
The web has reached a new low. It has become an annoying, often toxic and occasionally unsafe place to hang out. More important, it has become an unfair trade: you give up your privacy online, and what you get in return are somewhat convenient services and hyper-targeted ads.
That’s why it may be time to try a different browser. Remember Firefox? Mozilla, the non-profit behind the browser originally released in the early 2000s, put out a new version late last year, code-named Quantum. It’s sleekly designed and fast; Mozilla says it consumes less memory than current browser king Google Chrome, but more importantly it focuses on safety and security. ‘‘ If [people] don’t trust the web, they won’t use the web,’’ Mark Mayo, Mozilla’s chief product officer , said. ‘‘ That just felt to us like that actually might be the direction we’re going.’’
Chrome and Firefox support thousands of extensions, which are add-ons that modify your browsing experience. Chrome wins in terms of numbers, with hundreds of thousands of extensions compared with Firefox’s roughly 11,000. But in months of using Firefox, there was not anything I wanted to do on Chrome that I could not also do on Firefox. Mozilla also offers a Firefox extension called Facebook Container. Normally, Facebook can track your browsing activities even outside its social media site by using trackers planted on other websites like web cookies. With Mozilla’s extension, when you open Facebook in a browser tab it isolates your Facebook identity into its own container, making it difficult for the social network to follow you outside its site.
Firefox especially stood out for some privacy features that are baked into the browser. Inside the privacy settings, you can turn on tracking protection, which blocks online trackers from collecting your browser data across multiple websites. Security experts applauded Mozilla for stepping up its efforts on privacy.
‘‘ Firefox does seem to have positioned itself as the privacy-friendly browser, and they have been doing a fantastic job improving security as well,’’ said Cooper Quintin, a security researcher for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the digital rights nonprofit . ‘‘ On the other hand, Google is fundamentally an advertising company, so it’s unlikely that they will ever have a business interest in making Chrome more privacy friendly.’’
Google said that privacy and security went hand in hand, and that it led the industry on both fronts. Chrome and Firefox have tough security. Both include sandboxing, which isolates processes of the browser so a harmful website does not infect other parts of your machine.Google said there was one thing it could do better on: the inclusion of privacy settings to block tracking technology, similar to the tools that Firefox includes.
‘‘ I think that’s something that we can improve on,’’ said Parisa Tabriz, a director of engineering for Google who specialises in security. ‘‘ Firefox has some settings that we’re also exploring.’’ The New York Times
This article is from the June 28, 2018 issue of The Age Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit https://theage.digitaleditions.com.au/.
BRIAN X. CHEN
Thanks Brian, we need good articles like this.
Firefox: time will tell
The best Firefox ever
Uses 30% less memory than Chrome
Truly Private Browsing with Tracking Protection