Web

Firefox 58 may allow users to block canvas fingerprinting

firefox 58 may be first major browser to block canvas fingerprinting mac screen desk header
In newest version of the Firefox web browser, users will be given the ability to block canvas fingerprinting, a new tactic websites use to track your online activity.

For many years, Firefox earned a reputation for being the safest and most secure web browser on the internet. As competition between browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari stiffened, the company may again lean on security with version 58 of the browser, in its bid to win back users.

Firefox 58 comes out in January of 2018, and gives users the ability to deny tracking through a new method of online tracking called canvas fingerprinting.

Canvas fingerprinting is a technique used for tracking online activity by websites and advertisers. Data can be pulled from an HTML5 canvas element to identify and track users, which goes relatively unnoticed by most mainstream browsers. While the method can’t identify a user in the traditional sense, it can create a profile of a user based on browser, operating system, and even the kind of installed graphics hardware in use. Over time, this can create a effective tracking profile.

Canvas fingerprinting first earned attention back in 2014 when it was discovered that a wide assortment of major websites and advertisers were using the technique to identify and track online activity.

The situation is not dissimilar to the way advertisers often rely on cookies to track the online behavior of users, stored in the web history of their browsers. Now that most modern browsers block cookies, advertisers have turned to techniques like canvas fingerprinting to follow you around the internet.

As awareness around the issue of internet privacy has increased in the past few years, demand for more extensive tools for protecting oneself will continue to rise. If Firefox’s move is a sign, mainstream browsers are now catching up to bring this protection to the masses.

Firefox isn’t exactly first to the dance, though. Security-focused web browsers like the Tor Browser have allowed users to block canvas fingerprinting for years now. As pointed out by Forbes, there’s also browser plug-ins and apps that provide similar protection for both Chrome and Firefox users.

Computing

Mozilla’s built-in price-tracking extension makes it easy to shop with Firefox

Mozilla has heard those worries about Black Friday shopping, and is now introducing a new set of experimental extensions which aim to make it easier to find the best deals online.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Mobile

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.
Computing

Google focuses on making ecommerce safer with the launch of Chrome 71

Starting in December, Google will begin warning web surfers if they're visiting a website with unclear billing terms. Chrome 71 will alert you with a warning when you stumble on a website with deceptive billing practices.
Web

Be at your most productive with these Slack tips and tricks

Slack is an common means of communication in the workplace, but how do you use some of the app's lesser-known features to get the most out of your experience? Here's what you need to know to stay organized, efficient, and entertained.
Web

Get rid of your Audible account by following these quick steps

Want to learn how to cancel your Audible membership? It's easier than you might think. Just follow along with these steps and you'll be rid of the audiobook listening service for good. Or until you sign up again.
Web

Data stolen from HealthCare.gov includes partial SSNs and immigration status

Around 75,000 users have had their user data stolen from government site healthcare.gov, including information on their immigration status, whether they were pregnant, and partial social security numbers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than it's ever been, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with 12 of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.
Mobile

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.