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Firefox 83 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday and will come with a new security feature designed to load all websites using HTTPS. The feature is called “HTTPS-Only-Mode.” If the loading does not go through, an error message on the sites that only support the older and less secure HTTP protocol will pop up.

The feature is disabled by default, but users can enable it themselves in a few short steps. All they have to do is go to the Options page and then the Privacy and Security sections and search for the HTTPS-Only-Mode settings.

Users control how it works

Mozilla said that the new feature works by finding the HTTPS version of any website, even if you access the site by typing or clicking on an HTTP link. 

If Firefox cannot upgrade the site to an HTTPS connection, the browser will show an error and ask users to click a button that confirms they want to access the website in HTTP.

The feature can be enabled or disabled using a different method. Click on the lock icon in the address bar and select the setting from the drop-down panel, which will appear right away.

Phasing out HTTP

HTTP is considered insecure because the traffic is in plaintext, which can be intercepted by attackers who will have no trouble looking at the user’s web traffic details. The HTTPS protocol is the next generation after HTTP, with the connections for web traffic established using an encrypted channel.

Mozilla says that it expects HTTPS to be the standard for navigating the web. More websites are migrating to HTTPS, and soon, it will be possible for browsers to have no provisions for HTTP.