Google to trial drastically truncated URLs in Chrome in anti-phishing move

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:33:00 -0700

Google will run a trial with Chrome 86, the browser set to release in October, that will hide much of a site’s URL as a way to foil phishing attacks.

“We’re … going to experiment with how URLs are shown in the address bar on desktop platforms,” Emily Stark, Eric Mill and Shweta Panditrao, all members of Chrome’s security team, wrote in an Aug. 12 post to a company blog. “Our goal is to understand — through real-world usage — whether showing URLs this way helps users realize they’re visiting a malicious website, and protects them from phishing and social engineering attacks.”

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Firefox gets next-gen anti-tracking defense, stymies 'bounce' trackers

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:35:00 -0700

Mozilla today announced a new defense against advanced tracking tactics that it will be switching on in Firefox 79 starting immediately and pushing out to the remaining user base during the next few weeks.

Calling the improved technologies and techniques Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0 – Mozilla said that ETP 2.0’s primary job is to block redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking.

Trackers have been exploiting a loophole of sorts to continue following users browsing with Firefox, which enabled its first-generation ETP by default in June 2019. ETP takes a hands-off approach for first-party cookies – those tied to the site being browsed – because to do otherwise would break many of those websites or require users to, say, log in each time they returned.

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At Microsoft Inspire, the new Edge browser took center stage

Credit to Author: Rob Enderle| Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 07:31:00 -0700

Disclosure:  Microsoft is a client of the author.

In the new Microsoft, Azure has – to a certain extent – taken over the center stage from the company’s Windows Server platform, and the new Chromium Edge Browser has taken center stage from Windows. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this result as the market rapidly turns from focusing on local hardware to using the Cloud as its primary place to do computing. 

As a result, each new browser update now feels a bit like what the old Windows refresh cycles used to feel like – but without the old compatibility drama. 

Microsoft Inspire took place this week, so let’s talk about the browser’s new features, mostly focused on business users (now mostly working from home) that look compelling. 

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Mozilla launches its first revenue-generating service, VPN for Firefox

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:52:00 -0700

Mozilla last week launched its virtual private network (VPN) in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and three other countries, part of its strategy to expand revenue opportunities for its Firefox browser.

Dubbed Mozilla VPN, the service costs $4.99 per month and is available for devices running Windows and Android. Besides the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Mozilla VPN is also available in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. The service will be offered on macOS and Linux devices “soon,” while the iOS version is currently in beta, Mozilla said. For the monthly fee, users can access the VPN from up to five devices.

Mozilla kicked off a VPN preview – then tagged Firefox Private Network – nearly a year ago that relied on a browser extension and was free to users within the U.S. The Firefox Private Network was seen as the first of the paid services Mozilla would eventually introduce – another might be online storage – in an attempt to create new revenue streams to augment what the organization is paid to make specific search engines the Firefox default.

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Mozilla takes first step in pulling Firefox plug on macOS Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 13:45:00 -0700

Mozilla this week announced it would automatically move users running outdated versions of macOS to the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR), an edition that provides security updates only.

The move, a first step towards dropping all support, will take place June 30, when Mozilla releases Firefox 78. On that date, users of Firefox still running OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite) and 10.11 (El Capitan) on their Macs will instead be shunted to the extended channel and given 78.0 ESR. While that and Firefox 78 will be identical, when the latter shifts to version 79 four weeks later, ERS will remain at 78, increased to 78.1 to mark its first security update.

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Chrome to target abusive notification requests beginning in July

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:54:00 -0700

Chrome next month will begin to block notifications from sites that Google believes misuse or abuse the privilege of issuing the warnings.

Starting with Chrome 84 – scheduled to release July 14 – sites that Google thinks traffic in notifications meant to trick users will be blacklisted. Such sites’ notifications will be scaled back to what Google earlier defined as its “Quiet UI” and a Chrome-produced warning will appear telling the user that the website may be trying to dupe him or her into accepting future notices.

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Getting started with Google Password Manager

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Fri, 29 May 2020 03:00:00 -0700

If you’re still trying to remember all of your passwords and then type ’em into sites by hand, let me tell you: You’re doing it wrong.

With all the credentials we have to keep track of these days, there’s just no way the human brain can handle the task of storing the specifics — at least, not if you’re using complex, unique passwords that aren’t repeated (or almost repeated, even) from one site to the next. That’s where a password manager comes into play: It securely stores all your sign-in info for you and then fills it in as needed.

While there’s a case to be made for leaning on a dedicated app for that purpose (for reasons we’ll discuss further in a moment), Google has its own password management system built right into Chrome. And it’s far better to rely on that than to use nothing at all.

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