Firefox's Best New Tool? It's Not the Browser

Mozilla has partnered with Australian security researcher Troy Hunt to create a user-friendly service where users can check whether or not their passwords and email addresses have been exposed in data breaches. Mozilla’s new tool, called Firefox Monitor, accesses to Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned database of billions of emails exposed in data breaches.

The free Firefox Monitor service functions much like Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned. You can search for your email address in the service’s search box, and if the address and its password have been part of a data breach, you’ll be shown when that breach happened and which service, specifically, was compromised.

The tool can also proactively alert you if your email address is part of a new data breach. This should give you time to change your passwords for exposed accounts quickly.

MORE: What to Do After a Data Breach

Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned database often includes compromised email addresses from new data breaches that haven’t yet been made public. Security researchers sometimes tell him if they've found evidence of a new data breach, or if they've seen stolen credentials sold on underground markets. The Firefox Monitor gives Hunt's database a wider audience wider than he can reach with Have I Been Pwned alone.

Firefox Monitor might even be able to tell you about a breach even when a company keeps the breach secret. Some companies keep quiet for weeks or months until they have figured out what happened. (If a breach affects customers in Europe, however, new GDPR rules mandate notification within 48 hours.)

Other recent new features from Mozilla hint that security and privacy are some of the company's top priorities going into the future. 

This story was originally posted on Tom's Hardware.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.