Firefox Now Has Increased Privacy Control With “Forget” Button and Anonymous Search

The fox is there for you.

Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

We’ve all been there: spending two hours reading up on on the life and times of Michael Jackson or watching YouTube clips of every talk show interview Benedict Cumberbatch has ever done. But if you want to pretend that your most recent excursion down the Internet rabbit hole never happened, then Firefox version 33.1 may be your new favorite browser.

The update adds a “Forget” button to the main toolbar that lets you instruct the browser to forget your last five minutes, two hours, or 24 hours of browsing while saving the rest of your history and cookies from before that time. Firefox already has a way to do this in the Clear Recent History section in Preferences, but the “Forget” button surfaces those tools and reminds you that they’re an option.

Firefox still has Private Browsing windows (analogous to Chrome’s Incognito Mode), and those are useful when you know that you want everything you’re going to look at in a certain browsing session to be on the DL. But the “Forget” button will still be useful for times when you weren’t using a Private Browsing window and suddenly realize you should have been. Ahem, your hours on Sporcle.

Firefox 33.1 is also offering integration with anonymous search service DuckDuckGo. You can choose it as your default for Firefox’s search bar if you want your Internet queries to go unrecorded. Other browsers like Safari have started making DuckDuckGo a default search option as well, because privacy-minded users like that it doesn’t log their IP addresses or parse their searches.

To tie the updates in 33.1 together, Firefox is promoting its “Privacy Tour” so users know all the ways they can protect themselves using the browser. It may not be as popular as Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer, but Firefox wants you to know that it has the security features to compete.