After years of using Google Chrome, I finally decided to go back to a more privacy-focused browser, Mozilla Firefox.
Firefox takes privacy very seriously. You can choose between three different levels of “content blocking” which covers everything from trackers, cookies, cryptominers, and fingerprinters.
But Firefox has now introduced something called Firefox Monitor, which tells you if your email addresses have been caught up in a hacking incident. It pulls its information from HaveIBeenPwned which keeps track of all compromised login details.
Sign Up For Firefox Monitor
The nice thing about Firefox Monitor is that it is a “set it and forget it” deal. Once you have entered and verified your email addresses, Firefox Monitor will keep tabs on those email addresses 24/7. As soon as one or more of those addresses pop up in a hacking incident, you will be notified.
You need to sign up for Firefox Monitor with your Firefox account. If you use the Firefox browser, this account would be the one you sync all of your browser settings with. But you can also add other email addresses later.
After signing up, you will then see your dashboard and right away, I see with horror that my main email address has been compromised 14 times.
Clicking on more about this breach will give you extra details but the bottom line is that you need to log into these accounts right now, and either change the password or shut the account down completely.
You can’t ignore them, especially if you make the bad habit of using the same username and password for each account. Having the details to one will give them access to everything which is not good.
So now it is a case of going directly to these websites, logging in (hoping the hacker has not changed the password) and changing the details. If you are not using that account anymore, then you should consider just closing it down completely.
A slightly annoying thing is that it doesn’t give you direct links to the affected sites or links to be able to deactivate the account. You have to type in the address yourself. If it is only a few sites, it’s no big deal, but if someone is a victim of hundreds of hacking attacks, typing in each individual URL can get real tedious really fast.
Further down the dashboard page, you can add other email addresses you want to monitor. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of addresses you can add and Firefox Monitor is totally free. So why not add all of them?
Sometimes it can take quite some time for a hacked company to come clean and admit what has happened. So Firefox Monitor can only report publicly available information. This is why it is good common sense to change your account passwords regularly (say, every three months).