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How to get the new Safari privacy features in Chrome and Firefox

Apple has just unveiled a series of changes coming with the new macOS Big Sur later this year. Together with the visual redesign, the introduction of Control Center and updates to Messages, the integrated Safari browser is getting new and improved privacy features to keep your data safe.

You don’t have to wait for macOS Big Sur to go down to get many of these upcoming features, both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have similar functionality, or they can do it with the help of a third-party extension. Here’s how you can get Firefox or Chrome on par with Safari in macOS Big Sur today.

Changes coming to Safari

When macOS Big Sur arrives, Safari will look somewhat different.

Courtesy of Apple

Privacy and data protection are already top priorities for Safari, but the version coming with macOS Big Sur will go even further to protect you from web tracking. Some of the existing features are becoming more visible, while Safari is also embracing multiple extensions, with the utmost care for the safety of the user.

The browser already warns you not to use passwords that are easily understood or previously used (assuming they have been saved in the Safari password lock), but the later version will also warn you if your email address, username or password have been exposed in a online data breach, which would mean that the need to act and change your password would be even more urgent.

A new Privacy Report button is added to the toolbar: you can click on this to see exactly which trackers are blocking Safari in its ongoing attempts to prevent advertisers and companies from following you on the web. Safari is particularly good to stop “fingerprints”, where various features of your device (such as screen resolution and operating system) are used to understand who you are.

This same privacy report will be displayed on the home page of the browser, which should give you a better idea of ​​which sites are trying to monitor more aggressively, as well as showing the work that Safari is engaged in the background.

Safari in macOS Big Sur is also increasing support for extensions. (Safari already has extensions, but there aren’t many.) The new developer tools will make it easier to port add-ons from Chrome and Firefox and Safari will offer users a suite of controls to limit data browsing and other information to which extensions are unable to access.

Adding features to Chrome

uBlock Origin is an extension of Chrome that can block trackers.

Screenshot: David Nield through Google

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