Mozilla outed Firefox 13 with a number of new features, including support for Google's SPDY protocol, a new homescreen, an update "New Tab" page offering easy access to frequently visited sites with thumbnails, and also a 'Tabs on demand' which aims to speed up your browsing experience.
However, the convenient speed dial look alike 'New Tab' page have the potential to expose your private data like banking information or email subjects to anybody else who uses your computer, with Firefox 13 taking snapshot of recently visited sites and this includes sites accessed over HTTPS.
As the Register reports, the feature after opening a new tab only to be "greeted by my earlier online banking and webmail sessions complete with account numbers, balances, subject lines etc," discovered Chris discovered.
"This content is behind a secure login for a reason," Chris added.
Mozilla acknowledging the issue has promised a patch after releasing a statement:
We are aware of the concern and have a fix that will be released in a future version of Firefox. Mozilla remains resolute in its commitment to privacy and user control. The new tab thumbnail feature within Firefox does not transmit nor store personal information outside the user's direct control.
The new tab thumbnails are based on users' browsing history. All information is contained within the browser and can be deleted at any time. Users can also switch back to using blank new tab screens by clicking the square icon in the top right corner of the browser. That will change the default preference to show a blank page, rather than the most visited websites when a new tab is opened.
Users who share their computer or use Firefox on a public computer should follow best practices for protecting their privacy by utilizing the built-in privacy tools in in Firefox, such as Private Browsing Mode.
The latest version of Firefox includes two new notable updates to the Home and new Tab pages and was released on June 5th. If you haven't already updated, you might want to wait for a patch, or take the advice from Mozilla stated above.
In the meantime, Firfox users can use the following option to mitigate the issue: visit about:config, type in browser.newtab.url, and then set the value to about:blank (or about:home, if you prefer).
In other Firefox news,
Mozilla in a recent tweet begun teasing the below image accompaying a message that reads, "#Firefox? for ?#Android?. Something BIG is coming your way next week." The image itself says, "Fast. Smart. Safe."
In another Twitter post, the company says that users can either wait until the big announcement or "... install the Firefox Beta app on your Android now ;)." Android smartphone owners can grab that beta version now from Google Play.