Firefox update makes HTTPS the default for Private Browsing sessions

Mozilla has announced a new update to its Firefox browser bringing the browser to version 91. A key update has been made in Firefox 91 with Private Browsing Windows using HTTPS encrypted connections by default if possible. For those unfamiliar with HTTPS, it supports secure and encrypted connections between the browser and the websites the user is visiting. Standard HTTP connections send data across the Internet in unprotected clear text allowing any hacker to intercept and view the data.

With Firefox 91, HTTPS is the default policy for Private Browsing Windows. Mozilla says it's a significant improvement in how webpage addresses that support security are handled. The browser automatically checks any web address entered into the address bar to see if it supports HTTPS connections. Webpages that don't support secured connections will default to standard HTTP connections.

One potential caveat to using the secure connection is that the security is not directly applied to the loading of page components, including images, styles, or scripts. However, HTTPS does ensure the pages loading in as secure a manner as possible. Mozilla says that when a page is loaded using HTTPS, in most cases, components of the page will also load using the secure connection.

Mozilla plans to make HTTPS the default for sessions outside of Private Windows in future updates. Firefox users on older versions of the browser should get the update Firefox 91 automatically. Anyone looking to switch to Firefox from another browser can download Firefox 91 here. Firefox isn't the only browser making HTTPS the default.

In April 2021, Chrome 90 made HTTPS default connectivity option the browser uses for all sessions, not just private sessions. Chrome 90 also brought the AV1 codec to video chats.