Safari Gets Phishing Protection
Where older versions of Safari would have let you click through to a phishing site, Safari 3.2 (a free download for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 as well as Windows XP and Vista) will halt you with an alert headlined "Warning: Suspected Phishing Site." If you hit the Enter key to get that warning out of your way, you'll be sent back to the previous page -- a safe, sensible default.
On a Mac, this feature worked as advertised, blocking access to multiple sites listed on the PhishTank clearinghouse of phishing reports. On a Vista PC, a copy of Safari 3.2 had to be restarted before it blocked the same pages.
(Safari 3.2, unlike current releases of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, doesn't do anything extra to highlight the use of strong encryption by trustworthy sites; its only visual cue remains a small, subtle lock icon at one corner of the browser window. Update 1/17: Commenter RussellFinn notes that Safari 3.2 does offer an extra hint--the name of the site in green type, next to the lock icon--for sites that, like PayPal, verify their identity with an "Extended Validation" security certificate. Most companies, however, don't seem to have made this upgrade to their security yet.)
Speaking of things that are overdue, Safari also still lacks the smart address auto-complete that Firefox, Google's Chrome and IE 8 Beta 2 offer. This might not sound like a major feature -- it lets you return to a page by typing part of either its address or its title, not just its address -- but its absence has grown increasingly irritating in my daily use of Safari. I'm starting to rethink my recommendation of this browser as a better fit on Macs; on Windows, where Safari doesn't benefit from any close integration with the rest of the system, I no longer see much point in installing it.
How has this update worked out for you? And where do you rank Safari among your browser choices these days?
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