A New Firefox Feature Will Help You Keep Your Passwords Safe

Keeping your data secure online isn’t something you can do on your own. You need help, particularly from the people who make the software you use. Mozilla knows that as well as anyone, and that’s why they made this small – but very important – change to Firefox.

 

Image: Lee Mathews/Forbes

 

Image: Lee Mathews/Forbes

When Firefox 52 started rolling out, it brought with it a tweak to the way your passwords are handled. To keep users from entering sensitive data on sites that aren’t doing enough to protect it, Firefox 52 will display a warning whenever a password field appears and there’s no accompanying green lock icon in their address bar.

No green lock icon means the page wasn’t served over a secure, SSL-encrypted connection, which in turn means that it’s a whole lot easier for someone to eavesdrop and steal your credentials. Here’s what one of the warnings looks like:

 

Image: Mozilla

 

Image: Mozilla

Mozilla introduced another change recently in Firefox to draw attention to insecure forms. If you visit a page that uses HTTPS (like Forbes.com, for example), Firefox notifies you with that green lock icon – and it has for quite some time. If the all-important S is missing and you connected to a site via an insecure HTTP connection, there’s no visual indicator.

 

Image: Mozilla

 

Image: Mozilla

However, if that page happens to contain a form with a password field Firefox will show you the same gray lock with the ominous red slash through it up next to the site’s URL. Click the icon, and you’ll be reminded that the connection is not secure and your credentials could be at risk.

You really can’t be too careful with your passwords these days, which is why Mozilla is making sure users are armed with as much knowledge as possible about the sites they visit to make good security decisions. This might seem like a very small feature, but if the heads-up keeps you from having even a single password stolen, then it’s made a huge difference … particularly if you’re one of the many people out there who still re-uses passwords.

 

This article was written by Lee Mathews from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.