Friday, August 12, 2011

Firefox 8 Doing Away with "Self Installing" Add-Ons

In the continuing war of cat  & mouse played be developers and the more nefarious individuals out there, Mozilla has announced a change in Firefox 8.
If you use Firefox, you know that one of the big and really cool advantages of the browser is the ability to download & install 3rd party plugins that allow you to do all kinds of cool things.  Well it turns out that some of the darker sides of the Internet would like your computer to other types of things and they have been using Firefox plugins to help accomplish that goal.
The basic idea is that some plugins are being installed without the user's knowledge or permission.  This of course can lead to all kinds of problems for the user who has no idea that something has been installed in the background.
To prevent this, Firefox 8 disables add-ons added to Firefox by other programs.  After an add-on has been installed, when you start/restart Firefox, it will warn you in a notification window that lets the user either activate the add-on or ignore it.
The other nice feature happens after you upgrade to Firefox 8.  The install will run through existing add-ons  & create 2 categories, one that the user has installed and the second add-ons from third party programs.  Any add-ons that the user has installed will be kept active, but the third party ones will be deactivated until the user chooses to reactivate them.
I've got to give hats off to the Mozilla Foundation (the ones who create Firefox).  They are always diligently working to make the browsing experience better & safer.  I'm a Firefox user on all of my devcies (including my Samsung Epic running Android) and there's a reason for that.

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