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Firefox browser beefs up search security

July 17, 2012 at 6:39 PM   |   Comments

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 17 (UPI) -- Mozilla says it has begun distributing its latest version of the Firefox browser with a new feature that will encrypt all Google searches by default.

The security feature in Firefox 14, dubbed HTTPS Google Search, can shield users from advertisers or hackers that harvest data about users or attempt to modify their search results, ZDNet.com reported Tuesday.

"Encrypting our users' searches is our next step into giving users better control over their data online," Mozilla said in a statement.

"Enabling HTTPS for Google searches helps Firefox users maintain better control over who sees things they search for -- queries that are often sensitive," it said.

While Google is the only search engine currently allowing Firefox to encrypt its results, Mozilla said the feature would support additional search engines in the future.

Firefox 14 is modifying how it displays a Web site's verified identity by changing the way the icon to the left of the URL is displayed, a change that is a direct response to phishing sites disguising themselves as another site.

A globe symbol will represent an unsecured Web site, Mozilla said, while a padlock icon with "HTTPS" shows sites that use encryption.

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