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Mozilla Launches Privacy-Focused Browser for iOS

Mozilla this week released Firefox Focus for iOS, a privacy-focused web browser that gives users an increased level of privacy when browsing the Internet from their smartphones and tablets.

Mozilla this week released Firefox Focus for iOS, a privacy-focused web browser that gives users an increased level of privacy when browsing the Internet from their smartphones and tablets.

Regardless of whether browsing the web on their computers or on their mobile phones, users are exposed to numerous threats, including many privacy risks. With Firefox Focus, Mozilla attempts to tackle these privacy threats by helping users easily erase traces of their browsing sessions from their iOS devices or block online trackers.

The new application is expected to provide a fast, free, and easy-to-use browsing experience that will put users in control of how their online activities are tracked on their devices. By default, Firefox Focus will block ad, analytics, social and various other trackers that follow users on the web, all without having to change their privacy or cookie settings.

On top of that, the new browser allows users to easily erase their browsing sessions, all with a tap of a button. When searching for information that could prove sensitive in certain situations, regardless of whether it involves engagement rings, flights, or specific merchandise, while also looking to leave no trace on the device, users will be able to erase the session by taping a prominent “Erase” button conveniently placed directly on the screen, in the upper right-hand corner.

“By putting the “Erase” button front and center, we offer users a simple path to healthy online behaviors — protecting their online freedom and taking greater control of their personal data. To further enhance user privacy, Firefox Focus also by default blocks advertising, social and analytics tracking. So, on Firefox Focus, “private” browsing is actually automatic, and erasing your history is incredibly simple,” Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer notes in a blog post.

According to Mozilla, because the technology used to track users on the web is blocked in Firefox Focus, users will experience a performance boost when browsing the web, because these trackers can significantly slow down pages. However, because there might be sites that depend on tracking and won’t work without it, the app will allow users to easily open the site in either Firefox or Safari.

“Firefox Focus continues to operate as a Safari content blocker on iOS, and users will be able to take advantage of Tracking Protection on both Safari and Firefox Focus,” Mozilla also says.

Related: iOS 10’s Safari Doesn’t Keep Private Browsing Private

Related: Apple Wants All iOS Apps to Use HTTPS by 2017

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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