[Firefox] Safe (an add-on) makes it easier to recognize secure (HTTPS) sites

Regardless of what browser you use, you want to know that any site on which you enter personal information is secure. You can spend time looking for the famous lock or to see if it says “https” instead of the usual “http.” Or, instead of spending time looking for the usual identifiers of a secure website, you can see it plain as day thanks to a Firefox add-on called Safe.

WHAT IT DOES AND HOW TO USE IT

The Safe add-on is a very small and helpful add-on in Firefox that color codes the page you are viewing, showing you that you are on a website with a secure connection (SSL/HTTPS); you will also see the tab color coded of secure pages.

As you can see in the screenshot towards the right, pages can be multiple different colors (blue, green, orange, etc. — I have even see purple come up.) There is no significant logic behind these colors; each color doesn’t stand for anything and colors appear to be selected at random whenever a secure page is loaded. Indeed, there was an instance where for me all the secure sites were blue, but then when something was done on one of the pages, the color changed from blue to orange.

The add-on’s options don’t involve too much unless you want to change the thickness of the color border around the windows (not the tabs). When customizing the color border thickness, keep in mind that the color border makes windows smaller, i.e. all window content is shown inside the color border. So you may not necessarily want to go insane with the thickness. Aside from that, there is an option which you can enable that tells Safe to warn you when you are sending a password on an non-secure site. This option, in my book, is very useful.

SAFE DRAWBACKS

The colors appear to have no rhyme or reason behind them; they are picked at random and mean nothing. It would be useful if Safe allowed users to either pick a specific color they want secure sites to be or provide some logic behind the colors. Just randomly picking colors can drive some people crazy.

Also, take note Safe conflicts with Firefox Personas. If you have Personas enabled, you should probably avoid Safe.

CONCLUSION

Not looking for HTTPS or the secure lock when trying to make sure you are on a secure site can take a little while to get used to; but this Safe add-on will make browsing faster once you learn to use it. Simply seeing a color and knowing that you are secure to log in or maintain your private data is almost priceless. Safe is one of those add-ons that you don’t appreciate until you use it, i.e. when you visit a secure site.

You can grab Safe for Firefox from the links below:

Version reviewed: 1.1.2

Supported Browser: Firefox 3.5 – 11.*, SeaMonkey 2.7-2.7.*

Download size: 17.4 KB

Malware status: VirusTotal scan results (0/43)

Safe homepage [direct download]

[via Ghacks]

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6 comments

  1. Patara

    @william neurauter:
    They say it is faster than Chrome also.
    I know between IE9 and Maxthon3 there is a huge difference. There are so many excellent options that come with it that it may take some time to become familar with them all. I’ve found the Snap Whole Page Tool works better for me than any other screen capture program. Never fails to snap the whole webpage, no matter how long.

  2. jevvv

    Safe site is also indicated in Opera by putting the first part of the addy bar in GREEN for SAFE, similar to Maxthon 3.

    It’s always amused me how Firefox gets these New Wow Cool Extensions that do This That or The Other, when other browsers have been doing it as standard for a while ;)

  3. Patara

    The Safe Site feature is default in the browser I use, Maxthon 3. Been my default browser for years and it always shows on the address bar if the site is secure. Used to be a green tick but now it shows a green bar before the address. On that bar is a ticked lock as well as the name of the Company eg if logging into PayPal it would show PayPal,Inc. who holds the security certificate.
    Maxthon 3 is a Dual Display Browser and uses Trident and WebKit engines so can handle old and new sites. It chooses the correct engine for the code that was used on webpage or can be switched manually with 1 click.
    It comes with all the wanted extras that other browsers make you add on eg. AdHunter, Spell Check, Magic Fill , Screen Capture, Download Tools, Notepad, Cloud Technology and many more.
    On my computer it is far faster than Firefox.
    Next week they are adding Do Not Track to the Security Tools, so an extra add-on toolbar plugin will not be required.

  4. leland

    While it might be nice I would wonder how it would work with ColorfulTabs which is an extension I have been using for many years now and consider essential since I always have multiple tabs open. I think this alone will keep me from using it for now. Thanks however for pointing out what could be a useful extension.