Firefox 14 Beta promises to jack up web browser security

With recent news that Linkedin suffered a security breach that compromised over 6 million passwords, the new robust version of Firefox browser 14 Beta is a welcome development.

Often the browser of choice for web developers and designers around the world, Firefox has a great reputation for locking down security for web-hungry users who consume thousands of websites on affordable shared hosting packages, dedicated servers and reseller platforms powered by Midphase Linux servers.

There are several new security features worth mentioning:

  • Increased security by removing the ability for websites to spoof the favicon
  • (Re) Introduce a consistent encryption indicator
  • A streamlined and more easily readable identity panel
  • Exposing more information about your relationship with the site e.g. how many times have you been there Notifying you if you are submitting sensitive data over unencrypted connections
  • Notifying you if you are submitting data to a site for the first time

For sites with SSL encryption they have re-added the lock icon and show ‘https’.

“A globe icon is shown next to the site’s domain, while sites with SSL encryption enabled display a lock and show HTTPS in the URL (http:// is hidden for non-SSL pages),” said Barracuda Networks.

“Sites with an Extended Validation (EV) Certificate will be displayed with a green lock and the name of the site’s owner; those with mixed encrypted and unencrypted content display a grey triangle warning icon.”

With HTML5 around the corner, the traditional web browser is increasingly starting to resemble an operating system in terms of delivering web applications rather than simple static or dynamic pages.  This also means security is going to become a major issue for both web users and application providers.    There are also further considerations regarding mobile security, with various VPN mobile solutions now being marketed by international hosting providers.  This means developers need all the help they can get from browser-makers.

Firefox has confirmed 85 improvements to built-in developer tools on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

“For example, developers no longer need to reload the page to see messages in the Web Console, and Scratchpad adds Find and Jump to Line commands to the editor. Our improvements touched on every one of the built-in tools.

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