Mixed content blocking in Firefox
Firefox protects you from attacks by blocking potentially harmful, insecure content on web pages that are supposed to be secure. Keep reading to learn more about mixed content and how to tell when Firefox has blocked it.
Table of Contents
What is mixed content and what are the risks?
HTTP is a system for transmitting information from a web server to your browser. HTTP is not secure, so when you visit a page served over HTTP, your connection is open for eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. Most websites are served over HTTP because they don't involve passing sensitive information back and forth and do not need to be secured.
When you visit a page fully transmitted over HTTPS, like your bank, you'll see a green padlock icon in the address bar (see How do I tell if my connection to a website is secure? for details). This means that your connection is authenticated and encrypted, hence safeguarded from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks.
However, if the HTTPS page you visit includes HTTP content, the HTTP portion can be read or modified by attackers, even though the main page is served over HTTPS. When an HTTPS page has HTTP content, we call that content “mixed”. The page you are visiting is only partially encrypted and even though it appears to be secure, it isn't. For more information about mixed content (active and passive), see this blog post.
How can I tell if a page has mixed content?
There are two types of mixed content: mixed passive/display content and mixed active content. The difference lies in the threat level. Look for an icon in your address bar to determine if the page has mixed content.
No mixed content: secure
- : You’ll see a green lock when you are on a fully secure page. To see if Firefox has blocked parts of the page that are not secure, click the green lock icon. For more information, see the Unblock mixed content section, below.
Mixed content is blocked: secure
- : You'll see a green lock with a grey warning triangle when Firefox has blocked any insecure elements on the page. This means that the page is now secure. Click on the icon to expand the Control Center and see more security details about that page.
Mixed content is not blocked: not secure
- : If you see a lock with a red line over it, the page contains mixed active content and Firefox is not blocking insecure elements. That page is open to eavesdropping and attacks where your personal data from the site could be stolen. Unless you’ve unblocked mixed content using the instructions in the next section, you shouldn’t see this icon.
- : A grey lock with an orange triangle indicates that Firefox is not blocking insecure passive content, such as images. By default, Firefox does not block mixed passive content; you will simply see a warning that the page isn't fully secure. Attackers may be able to manipulate parts of the page, for example, by displaying misleading or inappropriate content, but they should not be able to steal your personal data from the site.
For more information about mixed active and passive content, see this Mozilla Developer Network article.
Unblock mixed content
Unblocking insecure elements is not recommended, but can be done if necessary:
- Click the lock icon in the address bar.
- Click the arrow on the Control Center:
To enable protection, follow the preceding steps and click.