Joel Cornell has spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He’s honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education. Read more.
Firefox 74 has an official Facebook Container add-on that keeps the social media juggernaut from tracking your browsing activity around the web. It can automatically block any of Facebook’s trackers when outside of Facebook to boost your privacy online.
How Firefox’s Facebook Container Works
The Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook activity into an entirely separate instance of your browser, which Firefox calls a container. When you install Facebook Container, the Firefox extension deletes your Facebook cookies, logs you out of the site, and closes any open Facebook tabs. This is a free browser extension made by Mozilla itself.
Once it’s activated, you’re free to navigate to Facebook as usual. When you do, you’ll see a blue line underneath any Firefox tab. This indicates that the container is active. Everything Facebook-related inside that container is allowed. Everything Facebook-related outside that container is blocked. Any non-Facebook links you click within the container will open in a normal Firefox browser tab, outside of the Facebook Container.
Any website that requires a Facebook login, or otherwise accesses its content, will not function properly if at all. This is the add-on’s precise purpose: to stop any Facebook-related activity from bothering you or tracking you during your normal browsing activity.
Remember: This add-on doesn’t do anything with the information Facebook already has, nor does it interfere with Facebook’s machinations within the container. Also, this add-on might conflict with the Multi-Account Container add-on, which lets you put one or more websites of your choice into a similar container. You can use color-coded tabs to operate on different websites without trackers, or in multiple instances of the same website with the same account.
How to Install and Activate Facebook Container
Visit the Facebook Container page on the Mozilla Add-Ons site in Firefox to install it. Alternatively, navigate to “addons.mozilla.org” in Firefox and search for “Facebook Container.” Once you’re on this page, click “Add to Firefox.”
An “Add Facebook Container” prompt will appear. Click “Add.”
You can see whether or not the tab has the Facebook Container active by looking for the black line under the text of the tab.
How to Add Exceptions
The container isolates your Facebook activity in a special part of your browser. Facebook can’t track your browsing activity via Facebook buttons on other websites. However, you might sometimes want to interact with your Facebook account on a different website.
If you want to exclude a site from these restrictions, you can add that website as an exception and allow it to interact with Facebook. To do this, navigate Firefox to that website. Click the Facebook Container icon and select “Allow Site In Facebook Container.”
Click “Allow,” and the page will refresh with this new setting in place.
With these settings in place, Firefox can provide you with a browsing experience that doesn’t throw new ads at you based on what you last looked at on Facebook.
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Joel Cornell has spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He’s honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education.
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Facebook Container is a Firefox extension that helps you set boundaries with Facebook. This add-on creates a boundary between Facebook sites (including Instagram and Messenger) and the rest of the web to limit where Facebook can track you.
Table of Contents
The Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons that appear on shopping, news and other sites contain Facebook trackers. Even if you don’t use them, Facebook uses these buttons to track you. Facebook Container blocks these trackers and will display a fence icon to show you where these trackers were removed.
When you visit Facebook, the add-on loads it in another tab and the fence icon is displayed in your address bar. This puts Facebook in its own boundary with other Facebook-owned sites, including Instagram and Messenger. You can allow other sites into the Facebook Container boundary, but this will allow Facebook to track more of your web activity.
When you visit a non-Facebook site that has Facebook trackers, Facebook Container will alert you and block these trackers.
You can add a website to Facebook Container if you prefer to allow Facebook to see your activity on that site.
- Visit this Facebook Container add-on page.
- Click the + Add to Firefox button.
- Click Add in the permission request drop-down to install the add-on. This will log you out of Facebook and delete the cookies it collected while you were using Firefox.
- Access Facebook, Messenger or Instagram using Firefox.
Firefox will automatically switch to the Facebook Container tab for you. If you click on a link to a page outside of Facebook or type in another website in the address bar, Firefox will load them outside the Facebook Container. If a website has Facebook trackers, Facebook Container will block them and alert you.
Facebook login buttons on other sites contain Facebook trackers. You can still log in, but this will allow Facebook to track your activity there. Each site you allow into the Facebook Container allows Facebook to build a more complete snapshot of your online activity.
You can still use Facebook as you normally would on facebook.com. Facebook Container removes their trackers on other sites. The following will not work:
- Facebook like, share and comment buttons on other websites. Facebook Container removes any trackers and related functionality.
- Logging in or creating accounts on other websites using Facebook. To log in using your Facebook account, you must allow the site past the Facebook Container boundary.
First, make sure the add-on is installed, enabled and up to date by checking your installed add-ons.
- Click the menu button , click Add-ons and Themes Add-ons and Themes Add-ons and select Extensions .
- Ensure that installation was completed. If Facebook Container appears on the list, it was successfully installed and you can move on to the next step.
- Make sure Facebook Container is enabled. If it is disabled, click the ellipsis (3-dot) icon and select Enable. click the toggle. The toogle turns blue when enabled.
- Update Facebook Container: see How to update add-ons.
This add-on does not prevent Facebook from mishandling any personal data it has already obtained or permitted others to obtain. Facebook will still have access to all your activity on facebook.com and the Facebook app, as well as any Facebook-owned applications such as Instagram and Messenger. This activity includes your comments, photo uploads, likes and any data you share with Facebook connected apps.
Other ad networks may try to link your Facebook activity with your regular browsing. In addition to using this add-on, there are other things you can do to maximize your protection, including changing your Facebook settings, using Private Browsing and Tracking Protection, blocking third-party cookies and/or using the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension to further limit tracking.
Good news! Containers aren’t just for Facebook. When you install Facebook Container, you may also see other containers. To get the best experience, install Firefox Multi-Account Containers in addition to Facebook Container.
To learn more about how Multi-Account Containers work, see Multi-Account Containers.
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Multi-Account Containers is a Firefox add-on that lets you separate your work, shopping, or personal browsing without having to clear your.
Facebook Container isn’t working
First, make sure the add-on is installed, enabled and up to date by checking your installed add-ons. Click the menu button , click Add-ons and.
Social networks like Facebook are very present in the daily life of Internet users. They offer us the possibility of being in contact with friends and family, giving our opinion or simply uploading photos and videos. Now, it is a reality that they also represent a focus to put our privacy at risk. There is a lot of data that we host here and also many third-party pages that can collect information from users. In this article we are going to talk about it. We will explain how to avoid crawling in Chrome and Firefox .
Data on Facebook is highly exposed
First of all, we must remember that the personal data we host on Facebook is highly exposed. Hence, it is not recommended to put more data than is really necessary. A way to avoid that they can spy on us or collect information that we do not want to be exposed on the network.
However, beyond that data that we put ourselves on social networks such as Facebook, we must bear in mind that the platform itself can also collect information from us. You can obtain data from searches we carry out, sites we visit, etc. A way to be able to offer targeted advertising, for example.
Luckily we have at our disposal a wide range of possibilities to improve privacy and security on the net. We can make use of different programs that are aimed at improving these two factors that are highly valued by users.
In this article we are going to focus on Facebook and tools that we can use for Chrome and Firefox. The goal is to prevent Facebook from tracking us. In this way, it will not show us information related to our searches, for example.
How to avoid Facebook tracking in Firefox
First of all we are going to talk about the option for Mozilla Firefox . As we know it is one of the most popular browsers. It is present in many devices and when it comes to privacy and security, many consider it as one of the best options. It offers different tools to protect our data and not run any type of risk.
For this we can make use of the Facebook container tool. Basically what it does is isolate our account and thus prevent Facebook from collecting data from other pages or platforms that we visit. It is simply as if we were only using the social network and nothing else.
Facebook Container , as the extension is officially called, is completely free. It is best to download it from the official Firefox store. As we always say, we recommend adding this type of software only from official sources. Only then will we avoid installing software that has been maliciously modified.
What Facebook Container does is completely isolate our Facebook account. This means that, among other things, we can also open another account in the same browser. It is basically as if we were opening it from another browser or in incognito mode.
How to avoid Facebook tracking in Chrome
As it could not be otherwise, the Google browser also has tools that allow us to do something similar. We can use SessionBox . It is not an exclusive extension for Facebook, since we can use any other platform in a similar way.
SessionBox’s idea is the same as in the case of Firefox: isolate our Facebook account. In this way we can prevent it from sharing cookie storage with the rest of the browser and, ultimately, Facebook can track us.
Its use is also very simple. To install it we have to go to the official Chrome store. There we will see that it is also useful to log into several accounts at the same time. It is, in short, another possibility that we have.
In short, we can avoid Facebook tracking in both Firefox and Chrome. As we know they are two of the most used browsers today and therefore this article can come in handy for many users. Keep in mind that there are more tools that we can use, but for the basic objective that we set ourselves, these are enough.
Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny at the moment. It seems politicians have finally cottoned on to what most of us have known for years. That Facebook and other social networks track everything we do and everywhere we go. They also track a whole lot more as we have learned. With all the media coverage, it surprised me when a TechJunkie reader wrote in asking ‘ Does Facebook track your location?’
The concise answer is yes Facebook does track your location. That is far from all it tracks though. Which leads us on to sorting some fact from fiction. Does Facebook listen to your calls? Does it read your messages? Does Facebook monitor you even when offline?
Facebook location tracking
Facebook tracks your location in order to help advertisers connect to you while in a certain geographical location. The process uses your GPS or mobile mast data to triangulate where you are at any given time. Nobody is quite sure whether you are tracked even if you don’t have Facebook open or not. Given the revelations of the past few months, I think it is safest to assume they do.
You can disable this function somewhat.
- Open Facebook on your device.
- Select the three line menu icon in the top right.
- Select Account Settings and Location.
- Select Disable Location History.
- Toggle Location Service to off.
- Launch Settings on your device and select Privacy.
- Select Location Services and Facebook.
- Select Never next to Allow Location Services.
There is a relatively new function in Facebook called Nearby Friends. While you disable location tracking here, it is best to make double sure you’re off the grid.
- Open the Facebook app on your device.
- Select More in the bottom right and select Settings.
- Select Account Settings and Location.
- Select Nearby friends and toggle it to off.
There is a widely held suspicion that even if you turn off location services on your device, Facebook will use your IP address to figure out where you are. If you travel somewhere new and still find localized ads being served in Facebook, this could be a sign this is happening. Your only way around that is to use a VPN on your device.
Does Facebook listen to your calls?
This question came up when I was asking people about Facebook data collection. A couple of friends had seen ads appear in Facebook that were remarkably similar to the contents of a conversation they had that day. Plus, Facebook asks for access to your mic.
Facebook does not (currently) listen to your calls. It cannot listen as it doesn’t have the capacity. It asks for access to your phone mic so you can voice chat using Facebook Messenger.
You can disable this if you don’t use the feature.
- Navigate to Settings and Apps.
- Select Facebook and Permissions.
- Toggle Disable microphone.
In iOS, select Settings, Privacy and Microphone. Toggle off Facebook.
While Facebook does not seem to listen to calls, it does collect call and SMS logs and uploads them. This apparently includes who and when you called or messaged but not the contents of those messages. You can turn it off though.
- Open Facebook Messenger.
- Select your avatar in the top right and select People.
- Turn Syncing to off.
- Confirm your choice.
Does Facebook read your text messages?
Another question that arose when researching this piece was whether Facebook read your SMS or not. The answer is not unless you chose to sync Facebook Messenger on your Android device. Otherwise, apparently FB has no access to your SMS messages.
You can turn it off if you opted in.
- Open Facebook Messenger and select Settings.
- Toggle off ‘Continuous call and SMS Matching’.
Does Facebook monitor you even when offline?
Yes it does but only in a limited way that we know of. We already know that the Facebook app tracks you wherever you go online even if the app has been closed. If you’re offline, you can still be tracked through ‘Offline Conversions’.
Facebook has data arrangements with electronic payment organizations and loyalty card companies. If you make a purchase using a card through one of these organizations, Facebook has access to that data.
While this page is about Facebook, many social networks and other entities track your every move too. Google has something similar to Offline Conversions in their Store Sales Measurement. So while everyone may be vilifying Facebook right now, they are far from the only player in the game. At least now you know how to limit their reach!
Facebook is a great utility if you want to stay in touch with friends and family, share photos, and see what other people are up to in their lives. It’s free, of course, but that doesn’t mean it comes without a price. If you’re using Facebook, you’re giving the company a ton of information about yourself which it is selling to advertisers in one form or another.
Most people forget that when they download an app or sign-in to a website using their Facebook login, they’re giving those companies a look into their Facebook profiles. Your profile contains a lot of personal information that can often include your email address and phone number, but frequently also your work history and your current location. And most people don’t realise that if you’re sharing any of that data with your friends then apps used by those friends can see that data too!
Advertisers, Facebook app developers, and Facebook ad tech partners don’t get a direct look at your personal data. They won’t see that my name is Jim Edwards, my phone number is 07xxxx, I’m male, and I work at Business Insider — Facebook hashes and anonymises all the data to protect user’s privacy and gives it back to partners in bulk so they can’t identify individuals — but nevertheless, this data is being used in order to serve you better-targeted ads.
If you’re worried about your privacy on Facebook, you can do two things:
- Opt out of ad tracking
- Look up the list of app companies that are logged in to your Facebook account, and edit that list.
The second step — which shows you just how much info you’re giving away to companies that you’ve probably forgotten about — can be rather alarming if you haven’t done it in a while.
We’ll deal with the ad-tracking first, as that is easiest. You can comfort yourself a little bit with the knowledge that the ads being targeted at you are coming anonymously and in bulk, at everyone who is in some way similar to you. They aren’t literally being targeted at you personally, even if it feels that way.
Stop Facebook From Tracking You in Firefox With Facebook Container
With all the ways giant online social media communications companies such as Facebook use to track your activities on the web and build a profile about you for marketing and advertising purposes, many internet users are becoming concerned with the lack of privacy and anonymity that is promoted by these practices.
Firefox users who wish to limit this tracking ability by Facebook while on non Facebook websites can do so by installing the Facebook container extension. Facebook container separates your activity between Facebook and the rest of the web by creating an isolated browser tab specifically for Facebook and Facebook owned sites (instagram.com, messenger.com).
Upon installation, Facebook tabs outside of this container are closed, cookies are deleted and you are logged out of Facebook. The next time you navigate to Facebook it will open in a special blue lined tab (the “Container”).
If you are browsing Facebook within the container and you click on a link to a non Facebook site, the site will load in a new tab opened outside the Facebook container. While outside of Facebook assets such as “Like” and “Share” buttons, which can be used to track you on third party sites even when you’re not logged in are disabled. If you click on a “Like” or “Share” button, you will be directed to Facebook in it’s own contained tab. (Please keep in mind that when you click on the button, information about what site you are coming from will be passed along to Facebook)
To install Facebook container simply:
Open Firefox, navigate to the Facebook Container add-on page and click “Add to Firefox”.
A permission pop-up will appear, click add.
This is one good step to prevent Facebook from tracking you online while using the Firefox browser. For additional steps you can take to improve your privacy on the internet, check out my articles on How to Turn Off Personalized Ads in Your Google Account, and How to Turn Off Personalized Ads on Several Ad Networks.
Facebook is everywhere. Even if you don’t open Facebook in your browser, almost every website you visit uses a Facebook plugin. Nothing you do online is hidden from the social network, not on your desktop and certainly not on your phone. Just a few days ago I looked up what Fortnite was and since then, I’ve been getting ads for games on Facebook, nonstop. Users are weary of Facebook collecting their data with impunity but are still on the fence about deleting Facebook, or just restricting its permissions. In that vein, Mozilla has released an add-on for Firefox that can stop Facebook tracking your web activity.
The add-on is called Facebook Container and it’s modeled after Mozilla’s Firefox Multi-Account Containers that lets you keep certain parts of your online identity separate from others. It does this by isolating cookies that various services use. The Facebook Container likewise limits cookie tracking by Facebook so that your online activity is kept as isolated as possible from the social network.
Stop Facebook Tracking
Install Facebook Container and then visit Facebook. You can sign into the social network, and view your newsfeed, like what your friends are sharing, and leave comments. With the add-on installed, you will see a blue line at the top and along the bottom of the tab that you have Facebook open in. You will also see a padlock icon in the address bar with Facebook written next to it.
Both these visual indicators mean that your Facebook session is contained within this one tab.
This will have side effects. Facebook has grown beyond its identity of a social network. It’s more of an online identity. Apps and services give their users the option to use them by authenticating their identity via Facebook. With this add-on installed, you won’t be able to use the commenting system on most websites, and you won’t be able to sign in to services using your Facebook account.
It’s best to sign up directly to the service, or maybe use your Google account if there’s support for it. It’s possible that some apps and services simply don’t have the mentioned options in which case you’re going to have to disable the add-on or use the service in a different session.
Facebook may be getting a serious backlash for its privacy violations but it’s not going to be easy pulling the plug for most people. Facebook has made certain that is permeates every aspect of our lives it possibly can. Anyone remember the Facebook phone?
As for Chrome users, there’s nothing similar available yet. We doubt Mozilla will develop a Chrome extension that does the same thing, and Google is probably going to want to stay out of the whole mess too. It’s really up to third-party developers to replicate this add-on for Chrome.
Seems i recall that Firefox has a built in or addon method of stopping
facebook — when open in another tab(s) of a session — from tracking you
around the web.
I need a “how-to” on that.
😉 Good Guy 😉
If you are not using facebook and not interested in anything on facebook then simply block it in your host file.
Open your hosts file and paste this in it:
facebook, like other major IT companies, have many other websites doing other things like ads, cdn etc etc so you need to track all of them one by one to block them. I have given up keeping track of them because they have full-time staff doing different things everyday to sell their products while I have a full-time job to put food on a plate!
Install the Facebook Container extension.
On Wed, 6 May 2020 18:08:25 -0400, WaltS48
>On 5/6/20 5:35 PM, j. @comcast.com wrote:
>> Seems i recall that Firefox has a built in or addon method of stopping
>> facebook — when open in another tab(s) of a session — from tracking you
>> around the web.
>> I need a “how-to” on that.
>Install the Facebook Container extension.
I felt that i had read somewhere that Firefox could stop them from
tracking you outside the app but at the time it was not meaningful to me.
> Seems i recall that Firefox has a built in or addon method of
> stopping facebook — when open in another tab(s) of a session —
> from tracking you around the web.
I’m using the RequestPolicy plugin myself. By default it blocks /all/
third-party content*, so no matter who-or-what tries to track me (and
believe me, FB is not the only one) is outof luck. 🙂
*it takes just two clicks to add third-party websites to a global or
for-this-website-only whitelist – for this session only, or permanent.
Removing that permission goes as easy.
I’m still using a version of FF which accepts old-style plugins, I’ve got no
idea if RequestPolicy is still available for the new FF versions.
Prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web. The Facebook Container extension for Firefox helps you take control and isolate your web activity from Facebook.
What does it do?
Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook identity into a separate container that makes it harder for Facebook to track your visits to other websites with third-party cookies.
How does it work?
Installing this extension closes your Facebook tabs, deletes your Facebook cookies, and logs you out of Facebook.
The next time you navigate to Facebook it will load in a new blue colored browser tab (the “Container”).
You can log in and use Facebook normally when in the Facebook Container. If you click on a non-Facebook link or navigate to a non-Facebook website in the URL bar, these pages will load outside of the container.
Clicking Facebook Share buttons on other browser tabs will load them within the Facebook Container. You should know that using these buttons passes information to Facebook about the website that you shared from.
Which website features will not function?
Because you will be logged into Facebook only in the Container, embedded Facebook comments and Like buttons in tabs outside the Facebook Container will not work. This prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity.
In addition, websites that allow you to create an account or log in using your Facebook credentials will generally not work properly. Because this extension is designed to separate Facebook use from use of other websites, this behavior is expected.
What does Facebook Container NOT protect against?
It is important to know that this extension doesn’t prevent Facebook from mishandling the data that it already has, or permitted others to obtain, about you. Facebook still will have access to everything that you do while you are on facebook.com, including your Facebook comments, photo uploads, likes, any data you share with Facebook connected apps, etc.
Rather than stop using a service you find valuable, we think you should have tools to limit what data others can obtain. This extension focuses on limiting Facebook tracking, but other ad networks may try to correlate your Facebook activities with your regular browsing. In addition to this extension, you can change your Facebook settings, use Private Browsing, enable Tracking Protection, block third-party cookies, and/or use Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension to further limit tracking.
What data does Mozilla receive from this extension?
Mozilla does not collect data from your use of the Facebook Container extension. We do receive the number of times the extension is installed or removed. Learn more
Facebook Container leverages the Containers feature that is already built in to Firefox. When you enable Facebook Container, you may also see Containers named Personal, Work, Shopping, and Banking while you browse. If you wish to use multiple Containers, you’ll have the best user experience if you install the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension. Learn more about Containers on our support site.
When Facebook is open and you navigate to another website using the same tab (by entering an address, doing a search, or clicking a bookmark), the new website will be loaded outside of the Container and you will not be able to navigate back to Facebook using the back button in the browser.
NOTE: If you are a Multi-Account Containers user who has already assigned Facebook to a Container, this extension will not work. In an effort to preserve your existing Container set up and logins, this add-on will not include the additional protection to keep other sites out of your Facebook Container. If you would like this additional protection, first unassign facebook.com in the Multi-Account Container extension, and then install this extension.
What version of Firefox do I need for this?
This extension works with Firefox 57 and higher on Desktop. Note that it does not work on other browsers and it does not work on Firefox for mobile.
If you believe you are using Firefox 57+, but the install page is telling you that you are not on a supported browser, you can try installing by selecting or copying and pasting this link. (This may be occurring because you have set a preference or installed an extension that causes your browser to obscure its user agent for privacy or other reasons.)
How does this compare to the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension?
Facebook Container specifically isolates Facebook and works automatically. Firefox Multi-Account Containers is a more general extension that allows you to create containers and determine which sites open in each container.
You can use Multi-Account Containers to create a container for Facebook and assign facebook.com to it. Multi-Account Containers will then make sure to only open facebook.com in the Facebook Container. However, unlike Facebook Container, Multi-Account Containers doesn’t prevent you from opening non-Facebook sites in your Facebook Container. So users of Multi-Account Containers need to take a bit extra care to make sure they leave the Facebook Container when navigating to other sites. In addition, Facebook Container assigns some Facebook-owned sites like Instagram and Messenger to the Facebook Container. With Multi-Account Containers, you will have to assign these in addition to facebook.com.
Facebook Container also deletes Facebook cookies from your other containers on install and when you restart the browser, to clean up any potential Facebook trackers. Multi-Account Containers does not do that for you.
If you come across any issues with this extension, please let us know by filing an issue here. Thank you!