Firefox 14 arrives with "secure search"

Mozilla Firefox logoMozilla announced today the release of Firefox 14, a new version of the open source Web browser. The update includes a number of minor new features, improved security, and enhanced support for modern Web standards.

The most noteworthy change is the secure search feature. The behavior of the browser’s built-in search bar was changed so that it will use an SSL-encrypted HTTPS address by default for all of a user’s Google searches, ensuring that the queries can’t be intercepted by packet sniffing. Mozilla first announced the secure search feature back in May when it was rolled out in the Aurora channel. It’s enabled by default in Firefox 14 but only works with Google searches at present; Mozilla is interested in working with other search engine providers to expand support.

To further improve security in Firefox 14, Mozilla has changed the way that SSL use is presented in the browser. The new version will no longer display a favicon in the URL bar next to the site address. Instead, it will display either a globe or a padlock, depending on whether the site has SSL enabled.

The new behavior in Firefox is similar to what Google does in Chrome. Mozilla adopted it in Firefox in order to prevent malicious sites from misleading the user by displaying a padlock favicon, but the change should also visually simplify the Firefox navigation toolbar. Site favicons are still displayed in the browser tabs.

On the standards front, Firefox 14 introduces official support for the Pointer Lock API, which allows a Web application to capture raw input data from the user’s mouse and lock its movement so that it is confined to a certain page element. This functionality has a wide variety of potential uses, particularly for interactive gaming.

Firefox 14 is available for download from the Mozilla website. It’s also being deployed through the stable update channel. For more details about the release, refer to the official release announcement.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: browsers, Firefox, Mozilla

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