The latest Firefox also boosts privacy by enabling HTTPS when makingÃ§ web searches viaÃ§ Google. The feature prevents anyone but Google from seeing search queries. Normally, such queries could be seen by network administrators when a person is on a corporate network, or by a service provider or any other entity monitoring traffic on a public or shared Wi-Fi.
"For people who are adamant about Internet privacy, it's going make them happy," Marcus said.
Google is the only search engine that provides the necessary technology for the new feature, according to Mozilla. The company plans to add other search engines in the future when possible.
Mozilla is also giving Firefox users more information about the security of the Web sites they visit. Icons added to the URL bar include a grey globe for non-HTTPS sites, a grey lock icon for HTTPS sites and a green lock icon for sites that use HTTPS and an extended validation certificate. The name of the certificate's owner will also be displayed.
The remaining security feature blocks the automatic display of plug-in-based content, such as Flash videos, Java applets and PDF files. The so-called click-to-play feature requires the Firefox user to click on a static image before the content is loaded into the plug-in.
Such precautions are meant to give users a chance to consider whether the content offered is legitimate or malicious. Similar features have been available in Google Chrome and Opera.
The effectiveness of the security measure depends on users being savvy enough to tell when content offered on a Web page doesn't seem right. Studies show that most people click to load content without much thought.Ã§Â¼/p>
The Firefox implementation of click-to-play is not yet completed and can only be started manually by typing "about:config" in the URL bar.
Read more about application security in CSOonline's Application Security section.