Cyberattacks and data breaches are on the rise globally. Even big organizations with vast resources struggle to keep up with these threats, so what can everyday internet users like you do about it?
For this year’s Safer Internet Day, the provider behind one of the most secure web browsers around decided to come up with a tool to help you stay on top of your privacy online. Previously known as Firefox Monitor, Mozilla Monitor Plus is a new paid service that automatically scans the web to remove your personal information in case it has been leaked.
Available only if you are in the US at the time of writing, Mozilla Monitor Plus’s first scan comes completely free of charge. The software adds up to further Firefox’s security and privacy tools including its free email breach alert, two-factor-authentication and VPN service.
The need for Mozilla Monitor Plus
“When we launched Monitor, our goal was to help people discover where their personal info may have been exposed,” said Tony Amaral-Cinotto, Product Manager of Mozilla Monitor. “Now, with Monitor Plus, we’ll help people take back their exposed data from data broker sites that are trying to sell it.”
Previously known as Firefox Monitor, the tool was first launched in 2018 as a free service to alert people when they’ve been part of a data breach. All you needed to do was type your email address in the scan bar and the browser would check if it was involved in an incident. If you got notified, you could act accordingly to secure your privacy, for example, by changing the password of your account.
Since then, though, much has changed. The information we share online keeps growing, but so do also incidents of data breaches. In 2023, there was a huge rise worldwide with over 110.8 million accounts breached in the second half of the year alone—VPN provider Surfshark found out.
While we all are more aware of this growing issue, taking control over our data online can be extremely time consuming and quite overwhelming—where should we start, really? With its new tool, Mozilla aims to offer an easy way out from this security and privacy mess.
According to Amaral-Cinotto, Mozilla Monitor Plus’s straightforward step-by-step process makes the tool unique in its simplicity.
“Additionally, we combine breach alerts and data broker removal to offer an all-in-one protection tool and make it easier for people to feel and be safe online,” Amaral-Cinotto added.
To use the tool at all its potential, though, you’ll need to upgrade to Monitor Plus paid service. You can either choose its monthly plan, at $13.99,or the one-year subscription, which costs the equivalent of $8.99 a month (a total of $107.88 for the whole year).
Paid subscribers will have Mozilla Monitor dealing with data removal requests on their behalf, while the tool automatically scans every month more than 190 data broker sites—twice the number that competitors scan, the provider claims—to make sure your personal information stays out of bad actors’ reach.
At the time of writing, you can only use Mozilla Monitor Plus if you are based in the United States. New locations are expected to be added on a later date. The new data removal tool is meant to add on Mozilla’s security suite which also includes its Firefox Relay and Mozilla VPN.