Firefox for Android now has a toggle for HTTPS-only mode
Mozilla has released Firefox 100.1.1 as a beta. It adds a new setting that allows users to enable HTTPS-only mode.
The option was first introduced in Firefox Nightly a few weeks ago and, surprisingly, made it to the stable release fairly quickly. I say it’s surprising because Mozilla usually takes a while to move features from Nightly to beta and stable channels. for example, the pull-to-refresh gesture to reload a page, which was added in Firefox Nightly in October 2021, has still not made its way into the public release.
HTTPS-only mode isn’t enabled by default in Firefox for Android, but you can toggle the option with just a few clicks.
How to enable HTTP-only mode in Firefox for Android
1. Open the Settings menu of the Firefox application.
2. Scroll down the page to access the Privacy and Security section.
3. Tap on the option labeled “HTTPS Mode Only”.
4. The browser will jump to another page, where you can toggle the setting. You can set it as the default option for all tabs or only for tabs you open in HTTPS mode.
There you go, now whenever you type a URL partially without the HTTPS prefix, or tap a link that normally takes you to the HTTP version of a website, Firefox will force the page to load the HTTPS version of the site. This will help protect users from snooping by third parties and land on genuine sites with SSL certificates instead of fake banking or other site.
What about websites that don’t support HTTPS?
Some sites still use HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), even though it has proven to be insecure and vulnerable to hackers. But blocking access to these portals would lead to negative reactions from users. You might not believe it, but many governments, schools, and offices around the world still have HTTP websites, which is probably why Firefox for Android won’t prevent the page from loading. It could even be interpreted as censorship.
When you come across a website that does not support HTTPS, the browser displays a warning message saying “Secure site not available”. It shows 2 options, the first is Go back (recommended), choosing the one that will make the browser jump to the previous page you were on. If you don’t mind that the site isn’t secure, you can ignore the warning and press “Continue to HTTPS site” to load the page using an unencrypted connection to the server.
The introduction of native support for HTTPS-only mode essentially negates the HTTPS Everywhere extension. Therefore, if you are using the add-on, you may wish to uninstall it.
Note: Firefox on the Google Play Store is still on version 99.2.0, it should be updated soon. But, if you don’t want to wait and are comfortable with sideloading apps from other sources, you can download the Firefox 100.1.1 APK from Mozilla. GitHub deposit. I installed it on play store version on my phone.
If Mozilla added full support for extensions in Firefox (stable), I’d probably use that instead of the Nightly builds.
What feature would you like to see in Firefox for Android?