Firefox removing favicons from the address bar

A little bit of flavor is leaving Firefox. A Mozilla developer posted Monday that favicons, those little identifying images that sites can design for themselves, will be removed from Firefox's address bar in a future release.

The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore.

Jared Wein, a software engineer at Mozilla, explained how the new Firefox address bar will look. Websites that use SSL certificates with Extended Validation will have a green padlock next to the certificates owner's organization name. Websites that use SSL without Extended Validation will have a gray padlock. Finally, websites that do not use SSL certificates, or have mixed content, will now display a generic globe icon instead of the favicon.

Wein updated his blog post Tuesday to clarify that favicons will not be disappearing from tabs, bookmarks or Awesomebar suggestions in Firefox.

The change, which is already in the Nightly build, will reach Firefox's Release channel in mid-July, according to Wein. Details on the change and its resolution can be found in its Bugzilla entry, Bug 742419.

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