New Browser Security

Over the last few weeks, Erin has written about both Microsoft and Mozilla releasing the newest versions of their Web browsers for testing. Internet Explorer 8 Beta and Firefox 3 Beta are now in their testing phases and they both offer a bundle of new features that will help keep you more secure. I thought I would run through a few of those features today, just to let everyone know what’s coming. Here we go!

First, you need to keep in mind that both of these browsers are still in the testing stage. If you’d like to download either of them, you’re welcome to, but you should use them at your own risk.

Both Internet Explorer and Firefox will include a new feature to fight against phishing attacks. Many people fall for phishing scams because the address in the address bar is usually deceiving enough to make you believe it’s from a legitimate site. Because of that, both IE and Firefox will have a feature called domain highlighting. It will put the actual domain of the site you’re visiting in bold lettering. By doing that, you will be able to see what site you’re truly visiting.

Here’s an example:

As you can see, if the address was not highlighted, you could easily think the address was from a Citibank site. Instead, the domain highlighting feature shows you that’s not true. The page is actually from a site called By seeing that, it’s easy to catch the sites that shouldn’t be trusted.

Other than the domain highlighting feature, both Firefox and Internet Explorer will have a malware fighting tool. While both programs have different ways of identifying bad Web sites, the results are usually very similar. Both browsers will check the site you’re about to visit against a database of known phishing and malware sites. If you’re about to go to a known dangerous site, you will receive a warning. You will then have the ability to choose if you still want to go to the site or not.

Those are just a couple features that are being built in to the new browsers. Both Microsoft and Mozilla have said other security features will be included as well. Microsoft has not yet disclosed all of their plans, but Mozilla has a full list of future features listed here. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary