THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has been throwing a lot of weight behind improving internet security offered by its Firefox browser, and this time, it's come up with something that makes us wonder why nobody thought of it before.
Starting with Firefox 70, due for release in September, the browser will integrate further with haveibeenpwned.com's database to proactively warn you if you type credentials that are listed as having been stolen in a data breach.
The system will launch as part of Firefox Monitor, launched as a browser add-on, but will now be integrated into Firefox proper. Firefox Lockwise, the company's password manager will also be integrated and will have access to data from the database.
The big difference is that once it's all one product, scanning for issues will become proactive, rather than something that is set up by the user.
That said, the service will only operate on passwords that were saved to Lockwise before the breach occurred, so if you're concerned it might have already happened, you'll need to check the website too.
It will also be limited to breaches where the full password has been exposed, so don't assume that if you don't get an alert, your data is completely unscathed.
Firefox is being positioned as a secure browser, something that will help differentiate it from the glut of Chromium-based browsers such as Microsoft Edge and of course Google Chrome.
Other recent enhancements include a feature designed to confuse tracking cookies by adding false-positives for the size of your screen. This was pioneered by Tor, with Firefox licensing the technology.
Plans for paid add-ons including a VPN service and subscription-based ad-blocking are on the way, whilst already rolled out are blocks to notoriously vulnerable Adobe Flash content and automatic blocking of tracking cookies.
Whether or not you use Firefox, we'd always recommend you check haveibeenpwned.com on a regular basis. μ
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