Firefox’s Flash warning goes unheeded
Mozilla’s attempt to shore up Firefox’s security by warning users to upgrade their third-party plugins looks to be falling on deaf ears, if early numbers are anything to go by.
Mozilla began by warning Firefox users upgrading to either 3.5.3 or 3.0.14 to upgrade to the latest version of Flash, after it discovered that nearly 80% of Firefox users were running an outdated version of the plugin.
The message appears on the What’s New landing page, and warns that “Your current version of Flash Player can cause security and stability issues”, offering a link through to the Adobe website.
However, only 33% of those informed they had an outdated version of Flash clicked on a link to upgrade, according to figures presented by Mozilla’s Ken Kovash.
The click through rate has remained steady ever since, suggesting that despite Mozilla’s best efforts, people remain unconcerned of the dangers presented by unpatched software.
However, Kovash hailed the figures as a success when compared to the 5% of people who clicked through the links on the What’s New page before the Flash warning appeared.
Mozilla has already confirmed that it plans to broaden the scheme to cover other plugins in future versions of the browser. “Firefox 3.6 will check for newer versions of plugins just like we check for newer versions of Firefox or extensions,” the company says. “If it sees that you have one that’s out of date, you’ll be sent to that page.”