How to Block Third-party Cookies on Firefox 63

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Last August, Mozilla announced that they’re changing their approach to tracking on the web, starting with Firefox 63. With the launch of this newly-improved browser, there’ll be an experimental cookie policy added that aims to block cookies and other site information from third-party tracking software. It is launched in an effort to provide protection for users against cross-site tracking, while also reducing the effects of site damage caused by conventional cookie blocking.

This new policy is actually a part of Mozilla’s new feature: Enhanced Tracking Protection. We’ll learn more about it below.

What the New Policy Blocks

You might be asking, what does this new policy block? Technically, it blocks the storage access for domains that have been tagged as trackers. For a domain to be classified as a tracker, Firefox 63 relies on its Tracking Protection list, which is currently being maintained by Disconnect, a company that works to make the Internet better by providing people with transparency and control over their personal information.

Domains that have been tagged as trackers are then blocked so they are unable to access cookies, local storage, and some site data once loaded in a third-party context. In addition, they are blocked from accessing APIs that grant them access to communicate cross-website.

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Because of these preventive measures implemented by Mozilla, hackers are unable to use cross-website identifiers that have been stored in Firefox to link browsing activities across various websites.

Does This New Policy Affect a Website?

Yes, third-party cookie blocking can potentially break a website, especially those that has third-party content integrated into the web pages. For that reason, Mozilla decided to add heuristics to Firefox 63 to automatically give time-constrained storage access. Of course, it’ll be bound by certain conditions.

Mozilla is also working to create a more structured way of embedding cross-origin content. In most cases, they designed Firefox to grant access on a site-by-site basis and to embedded content that gets lots of user interaction.

How to Enable Enhance Tracking Protection to Block Third Party Cookies

It’s very easy to enable the Enhance Tracking Protection feature. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Download and install Firefox 63 on your device.
  2. Once installed, launch Firefox 63.
  3. Navigate to the Options menu and click Privacy & Security.
  4. Scroll down to the Content Blocking This is where you can enable the Enhance Tracking Protection feature. Click the checkbox beside Third-Party Cookies.

After you have successfully enabled the feature, cookies that have been identified by Mozilla as a tracker will automatically be blocked. Users have the option to block all the third-party cookies they come across with, but they have to know that doing so may cause other website functionalities not to work.

In the event when blocking the cookies will cause any unexpected behaviors, users can always disable the feature on a site-to-site basis. First, they have to access a certain menu which pops up after clicking the shield icon in the search bar and then click the Disable Blocking for This Site option.

Mozilla and ProtonVPN

Although this new feature is optional in Firefox 63, Mozilla still wants to perform more tests to improve it. The company is expected to release a new update in early 2019.

For those who are more concerned about privacy, Mozilla released an announcement that they are partnering with ProtonVPN to offer more VPN service subscriptions for as low as $10 a month. However, this service will only be available to a small group of US-based Firefox 63 users.

How to Enable VPN on Firefox 63

If you are interested in enabling ProtonVPN’s service on Firefox 63, you’ll have to pay attention to the ads that will be shown on the websites you visit. US-based Firefox 63 users may see an ad to avail the monthly VPN subscription.

While the ad will offer ProtonVPN’s service for only $10 per month, Mozilla will be receiving most of the revenue from Firefox 63 users who availed the subscription. Only a portion of the proceeds will be given to ProtonVPN to offset their service costs.

Other Features Included in Firefox 63

With the launch of the Enhanced Tracking Protection feature of Mozilla, Firefox 63 is now listed among the popular browsers like Chrome and Opera that come with default settings for blocking ads and online trackers. However, this feature is not the only thing that Firefox 63 has to brag. It also features the following:

  • Firefox 63’s build infrastructure on Windows devices has been transferred to the Clang toolchain, which brings lots of performance benefits and gains.
  • The new theme of this browser now matches the Dark and Light modes of Windows 10/11 OS.
  • Web extensions may now run their own processes on Linux.
  • This browser recognizes the accessibility settings of operating systems to reduce animations.
  • It comes with a new search shortcut for top websites, such as Amazon and Google. These top websites will display as tiles on the home page of Firefox 63. Depending on the tile clicked, search is then initiated. But take note that this feature is only available for US-based users.

In the meantime, while Mozilla is working on improving the features of Firefox 63, it is best that you optimize your computer all the time for better performance. To do that, you may install Outbyte PC Repair for Windows computer users and Outbyte Mac Repair for Mac computer users.

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