Main Firefox Updates in 2019: Safety Again Comes First

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Mozilla Firefox with WebAssembly

Over the years, Mozilla has built the reputation of one of the safest and simplest browsers out there. A big part if this success is due to frequent and to-the-point Mozilla updates. Usually, we don’t love new versions of any software al that much. New bugs appear, the interface gets more complicated, and everything glitches like never before.

Well, the good news is, it’s not the case with Mozilla Firefox. In fact, in 2019, Firefox has already surprised us with some fantastic add-ons in the latest version. It’s easy to miss some of them – so, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the new functionality and compiled the list of the best updates.

1. Cryptomining security
With the rising popularity of Bitcoin, Etherum, and other cryptocurrencies, hackers created multiple methods to penetrate third-party devices to use them for cryptocurrency mining. While it might have no apparent dangerous consequences, it slows your computer down and damages the quality of the connection.

Now, the curious thing: these crypto mining security blocks are disabled by default. You need to go to ‘Settings’, choose ‘Privacy & Security’, and activate the extra-layers of protections. However, in the nearby future, you won’t have to bother with these manual settings – developers promise to enable this protection by default.

What will you be protected from?

  • Fingerprinting authentication – adtech companies identify users by used browser,s default computers fonts, settings of your operating system, and collect these characteristics in a digital fingerprint. Firefox now will detect such practices and disabled them immediately.
  • Using your PC to mine Bitcoin or other currency. To mine as much cryptocurrency as possible, hackers need high levels of computing power. Penetrating other user’s computers is the cheapest way to achieve this goal. With new Firefox algorithms, this method will is detected in no time.

2. Mozilla Send

Recently, Mozilla Firefox has announced the launch of a file0trnafer service with end-to-end encryption. With a successful pilot version, released back in 2017, the tool is built into the browser. So far, Mozilla Send allows exchanging attachments up to 2.5 GB per single transfer. Once you’ve uploaded the files, you receive a short link – a typical file exchanging system.

The tool is a built-in alternative to cloud storages like Dropbox or Google Drive as well as email attachments. Unlike these options, Mozilla Send doesn’t require you to create a new document or write an email. All you need is to upload a file, copy a link, and send it.

How to use the service?
Go to the ‘Send’ website, open your file storage, select needed files, and set an expiration date for the link – it’s that simple. You can also put a password and send the link via email, messenger, or WhatsApp. You need to use Firefox 64 bit and create a Firefox account first – otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to make uploads.

Why do we think this update to be awesome?

  • Mozilla is one of the most security-conscious organizations out there. It’s known to be a private-by-design browser, which means, the full functionality is built entirely around bulletproof security standards. If there is an organization you could trust your confidential files with, it definitely deserves to be Mozilla.
  • File receivers don’t need to have a Firefox account to access the file.
  • The service uses encryption to protect files from attacks. Even if the data is stolen, it will be ciphered. Only the sender and the receiver see files in their original state.

3. Fighting Zombieload
Zombieload is not another apocalypse movie, but it might be just the end of the world for your private data if you become the victim of the Zombieworld virus attack. This vulnerability leaks your password, logins, security questions, and access keys, compromising your accounts.

The threat was so grave that Apple, Google, and Mozilla all started patching up their browsers to protect their users from the attack. Although first patches began in 2011, it’s only now that browser providers finally found an ultimate solution to the problem.

In 67th Firefox release and 60.7th update, Mozilla adapted mitigation, recommended by Apple and will continue to test this patch out. So far, it’s only supported on Firefox Beta and Firefox Nightly on macOS, but Windows and Linux versions will soon receive the improvement.

Why do we like this update?

  • Now passwords, logins, credit card information is protected from a widespread security vulnerability.
  • The solution was already tested by Apple’s development and testing team – having two companies instead of one only improving the same patch is always better in terms of security.

4. Firefox Lockwise
Firefox Lockwise extension stores your passwords and remembers them from every connected device. If you use several laptops or regularly switch between home and work PCs, you have all the passwords available.

The main functionality includes:

  • A dashboard with all passwords on a list, synchronized with all devices. Users can have the passwords saved automatically, delete date for the page that they no longer visit, or add them manually.
  • Synchronization with a mobile app. For Android and iOS devices, you have to download a Firefox Lockwise application.
  • A password protects both the desktop extension and mobile app. All data is encrypted.

5. Firefox Monitor
This service analyzes your email data and determines if a data breach has compromised it. Since the launch of a demo version, 635 000+ people have signed up for the service. We tested the service out ourselves, and yes, each positive review f the service seems to be well-deserved.

Main features:

  • Connect multiple email accounts and manage them with a single tool;
  • Control personal and professional accounts;
  • Check the breach dashboard with a report on all connected emails with statistics on leaked data;
  • Verify the safety of all received emails and prevent the man-in-the-middle attack – if a hacker is eavesdropping to your conversations, you’ll receive a notification.

The interface of the tool is incredibly simple. You have a brief dashboard with all reports. It’s not dragged on – pretty much, simple graphs and numbers. In a drop-down menu, you see all connected email accounts and main actions – adding or deleting an email and changing the primary email (the one where you receive notifications).

Safety by design indeed
As you can see, all Firefox updates, while improving user’s experience, are inevitably connected to safety. Security has been this browser’s priority for years, and now, with more cyber attacks than ever, this tendency is sure to continue.

Perhaps, in the future, we’ll see more security patches as well as cooperation with other tech giants. Also, the vector of developing built-n tools and official extensions is sure to continue. It’s apparent that the Mozilla development team encourages users to prefer official tools over third-party utilities – and we say, good job. After all, Firefox is indeed known for taking an extra mile in terms of security, and considering that extensions handle sensitive data, safety is a priority.

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