Want To See Who Watches You Online? This Browser Add-On Lets You

Mozilla Firefox has released an add-on called Lightbeam that allows Internet users to monitor the first and third parties monitoring them.

Let’s say you’re wary of being tracked online, but aren’t willing to take drastic measures to prevent it from happening. A new browser add-on might be for you.


The popular web browser, Firefox Mozilla, has launched a tool that lets you see which companies are monitoring your online activity. “Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam shows you the relationships between these third parties and the sites you visit,” Mozilla says.

Mozilla’s goal with Lightbeam is to “illuminate the inner workings of the web” by examining how online tracking works, and the interconnectivity of third-party sites. Yes, you know those third parties. The ones that so coincidentally paste an ad in your Google news search for hair transplant facilities right after you searched for “how do I know if I’m balding?” Much of web tracking is used for advertising purposes and market research, so companies can turn your online activity into profit. Of course, if you want a piece of that action, you could always stalk your online self and then sell the data, like this guy.

About the author

Jenna Kagel went from teaching English to professionals in Argentina to working for public radio in LA and is now sleuthing creativity in NYC.