Fence me in!

A couple of weeks ago while flipping through tabs, I noticed a wee little fence on the top bar of my Firefox browser:

My first thought was “hey that’s kinda a cute little emoji” … and then I wondered why it existed… and then I noticed it was in the upper right corner of my browser tab, too, right next to my AdBlockPlus icon … so I clicked it:

Well, that was interesting! I can “trap” my Facebook identity into a tab and not be available across my whole browsing experience. No longer would Facebook notice that I was in another tab on Amazon looking for motorcycle helmets and getting swamped by helmet ads on my Facebook. This is a nice step forward!

AND THEN IT HIT ME! If it can fence in Facebook, it can fence in other identities! I have 5 different Microsoft identities (School, Police, Personal, Programming, other Programming) and in the past, I just used different browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera,) and Incognito windows to try to work and test things out in all of these different identities. It was a mess because I’d try to access a file or a setting but be the wrong person in that browser. But with Firefox’s containers, I can have one browser and each tab can be a different identity!

How? CLICK & HOLD on the + New Tab button at the top of Firefox and choose MANAGE CONTAINERS

The default has “Shopping” & “Banking” … I got rid of those and added my Microsoft Identities:

Now, when I want to be at School, I click & hold the + New Tab at the top and choose Appleby, and everything in that tab works under my School Microsoft Office365 Identity. When I want to use my Programming Office365 (that I pay for), I choose OneNoteSchool — the OneDrive, Sharepoint, Outlook identity work perfectly! The identity that I’m using appears in the location bar so that I remember who I am. (I used to have to try to figure out who I was by looking at the profile pic in the upper right corner… but it was always me, so that wasn’t helpful).

You could likely do the same thing if you had multiple Gmail, Facebook, Reddit identities, too!

Addendum: The Facebook Container also warns you if you’re in a “Facebook Free” tab that if you click on a link/button, you’ll be moving into a Facebook-tracking area — see the little red fence on the Facebook button? Now, nothing is foolproof when it comes to privacy on the internet… but a little step helps!

Cal Armstrong
Cal Armstrong
Articles: 223

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