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Firefox 88 might actually make you consider a switch

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Mozilla has announced the launch of the latest version of its browser (opens in new tab) and Firefox 88 (opens in new tab) includes a number of new features to help users stay productive online while also protecting their privacy.

For those who often work with PDF files (opens in new tab) in their browser, the company has added support for JavaScript embedded in PDF files. This can be quite useful as some PDF forms use JavaScript for validation as well as for other interactive features. 

Users running Firefox on Linux (opens in new tab) will likely be happy to hear that smooth pinch-zooming using a trackpad is now supported and when it comes to printing from the browser, margin units are now localized.

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In addition to these new features, Mozilla has also made several changes to Firefox with the release of version 88 of its browser. For instance, Firefox will no longer prompt users for access to their microphone or camera if they've already granted access within the past 50 seconds, the “Take a Screenshot” feature has been removed from the Page Actions menu in the URL bar and can now be found by right clicking to open the context menu and FTP support has been disabled (opens in new tab) before being completely removed when Firefox 90 launches this summer.

Cross-site privacy leaks

Perhaps the biggest update in Firefox 88 is that the browser will now isolate window.name data to the website that created it to help protect against cross-site privacy leaks (opens in new tab)

In a blog post, (opens in new tab) senior software engineer at Mozilla, Tim Huan provided further insight on how window.name can be abused to track users online, saying:

“Since the late 1990s, web browsers have made the window.name property available to web pages as a place to store data. Unfortunately, data stored in window.name has been allowed by standard browser rules to leak between websites, enabling trackers to identify users or snoop on their browsing history. To close this leak, Firefox now confines the window.name property to the website that created it.”

While tracking companies have been abusing this property to leak information, malicious sites (opens in new tab) have also been able to observe the content of widnow.name to gather private user data that was inadvertently leaked by another website.

As more of our work is now done from a browser especially while working from home (opens in new tab), making the switch from Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab) or Google Chrome (opens in new tab) to Mozilla Firefox may be the right choice if you want to protect your privacy further and prevent being tracked online.

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Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.