Developers of popular browsers have decided to allow automatic blocking of pop-up notifications in order to combat spam and to improve security.

In Firefox, the innovation will appear with the release of version 72, scheduled for January 2020. In turn, in a “closer” release of Firefox 70 for pop-up notifications, the default value will change: from “Not Now” to “Never”. Mozilla engineers pushed for such a decision by the April experiment , during which they found out how users interact with notifications, and also examined various ways of blocking, depending on the degree of obsession of the notifications.

According to statistics collected in the spring, the vast majority (97%) of Firefox users rejected notifications or preferred to completely ban sites from showing them. Because of this, developers will add an option to Firefox 72 that will by default hide pop-up notifications, and instead of the ones blocked in the address bar, the corresponding animated icon will appear. By clicking on it, users will be able to see the notification and, if desired, interact with it.

The root of the problem lies not only in the fact that notifications annoy most users, but also in the fact that attackers like them very much. The fact is that the notification API is an almost perfect way to send spam, even after users leave the malicious site. So, hack groups lure victims to random sites and show pop-up notifications. If a user accidentally clicks the wrong button and subscribes to one of these sites, he will encounter a lot of notifications of all stripes (from advertisements of dubious pharmacies to links to various malware).

Apparently, not only Mozilla engineers decided to take such a step. According to , similar changes await the Google browser: with the release of Chrome 79, developers will also begin to experiment with blocking notifications via chrome: // flags and the option “Quieter notification permission prompts”. If this option is active, notifications will be hidden, and you can find out about this from the corresponding message in the address bar.

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