Firefox 2.0 finally has the Safe Browsing feature enabled and is implemented just in time for the Alpha 3 release on May 26. Safe Browsing prevents phishing attacks on a user (phishing is stealing personal information such as PIN numbers, Credit Card numbers and more by spoofing a web site or email). This has already been implemented into IE7 and in my opinion is one of the most important features that Firefox 2.0 could have. Maybe Firefox 2 will be able to draw some of the less tech-savvy computer users because it will be able to protect its users so well.
The code has been locked down for Firefox in preparation for Alpha 3. It looks like there are still some check-ins that need to be completed but we probably won’t see the new user interface until Beta 1.
I have put together a portable version of the latest nightly build so that you can see what the Safe Browsing is like (I also took a screenshot above of a fake PayPal site). Only SOME of the phishing sites are actually caught by Firefox unless you enable the Safe Browsing to perform remote lookups on the sites:
- Open Firefox.
- Type “about:config” into the address bar and press “Enter”.
- Find the property that says “browser.safebrowsing.remoteLookups” and change it to “True”.
- Restart Firefox.
By enabling the feature above I have had it catch every phishing site I have tried (the Portable Firefox below already has the feature enabled for you). Here are two sites that you can test, but don’t put your information into the PayPal site: Google Phishing Site and FAKE PayPal site.
A bug report has been submitted to try and get Mozilla to turn on the Remote Lookups by default (hopefully they will to maximize security). The next Portable Firefox version that I post here will be Alpha 3 when it gets released in the next few days, so check back soon!
How to use the Portable Firefox:
All you have to do is download the Portable Firefox 2.0 file below. Then you unzip the file and browse for the file PortableFirefox.exe. Just execute that file and you will be running Firefox 2.0 with Safe Browsing activated! The profile is kept with the PortableFirefox folder so you don’t have to worry about messing up your other profile and the uninstallation process is simple…just delete the folder!