The First 48: Firefox 4 Released

Mozilla released Firefox 4 on March 22, 2011 and the free and open source web browser had 15.8 million downloads within the first forty-eight hours.

The Firefox team pulled together the following infographic to share some cool stats about the first 48 hours following the launch:

From a security perspective, the following interesting features are built into the browser:

Do Not Track

Many sites track your online behavior and sell that data to advertisers. Firefox 4 has an option that lets you tell sites you want to opt out of behavioral tracking and keep browsing habits private.

Securing Website Connections

This feature keeps attackers from intercepting sensitive data by automatically establishing secure connections to websites that offer secure https servers.

Private Browsing

Turning this feature on protects your browsing history. This feature is great if you’re doing your online banking on a shared computer or checking email from an Internet café.

Instant Web Site ID

This allows a user to be extra sure about a site’s legitimacy before making a purchase. By clicking on the site’s favicon you get an instant identity overview. Another click digs deeper: how many times have you visited? Are your passwords saved? Check up on suspicious sites, avoid Web forgeries and make sure a site is what it claims to be.


Parental Controls

Enforce parental control settings you’ve entered on Windows 7 to stop unwanted downloads and more.


Firefox 4 gets a fresh update of forgery sites about 48 times a day, so if you try to visit a fraudulent site that’s pretending to be someone you trust (like your bank), a warning message will stop you before any harm is done.

Clear Recent History

Clear all your private data or just your activity over the past few hours with a few quick clicks. You have full control over what to delete – this is a useful feature when you use public internet facilities like the an internet café or the local library.

Content Security Policy

The Content Security Policy in Firefox is designed to shut down cross-site scripting attacks by providing a mechanism for sites to explicitly tell the browser which content is legitimate. The browser can then disregard any content that has not been blessed by the site, keeping you protected in the process.

You can read more of the features here.