Did you recently upgrade to Firefox 16? If so, you’ll want to read this. Mozilla has since yanked version 16 from the download page. The company announced that there were major security problems with the new browser. If you already downloaded Firefox 16, you have two options. The first option is to downgrade. The second option is to wait for Mozilla to send out a patch.
This is one of the few times that Mozilla has had a security problem shortly after releasing a version of Firefox. When all is said and done, though, Mozilla is a company that acts quickly. Yes; the company will be sending out a patch soon enough. So, you can rest assured that help is on the way. Should you downgrade, though? How serious is the security problem? Well, that all depends on how you look at it.
The Security Issue In Question
Mozilla’s Firefox 16 allows spammers to see your search history. This accidental security problem is an embarrassment to the, otherwise, secure Firefox. If a spammer can grab control of your search history, that person can find out what you like. When that happens, you will become an instant market for advertisers. It’s also possible for a spammer to see, say, your preferred bank. If, for some reason, you decide to let your browser store banking login information, you could be looking at a real issue.
Should you decide not to downgrade to an earlier version of Firefox, make sure that you clear your browser regularly. There’s no doubt that Firefox is working on the current issue, and that the issue will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, keep in mind that Firefox 16 is not secure for the time being. Don’t let this deter you from using Firefox, though. Generally, Firefox is a great browser that’s won lots of awards and plenty of devoted users.
A Great Browser Otherwise
As mentioned, Firefox is generally a secure browser. So secure that the browser is often recommended to those who are tired of the same old browsers (or don’t want anything to do with Google, Apple, or Microsoft). Whenever an update happens, there’s always a change that things could go awry. This is precisely what’s happened with the currently update version of Firefox.
Appendage/Update: Firefox has just told press (following the writing of this article) that the security problem has been fixed. Anyone who has upgraded to Firefox 16 will receive an automatic patch update. So, there you have it. This is precisely why Mozilla is a great company. Mozilla was notified of a security problem and that problem was promptly fixed. Like Apple, and many other companies, Mozilla made a mistake.
But, unlike, say, Apple’s Maps, Mozilla fixed the issue within a matter of hours – now, that’s service. If you did downgrade to an earlier version of Firefox when you read about the security problem, you can now download the current Firefox 16 without any additional issues. Mozilla has stated that the new Firefox 16 is available for download (without any security issues) on the company website.