There may be times when you install a software or add on in your browser and ends up with getting your default preferences changed in your browser. The best solution against Search Engine Hijacking is paying attention to the installation steps instead of clicking next->next but that’s not what we usually practice, do we?
Taking note of this, Firefox has decided to introduce a new feature in Firefox 19 which aims to protect users against search engine hijacking. Starting with Firefox 19, Firefox users will be warned whenever any add-on modifies the keyword.URL preference.
The function of Keyword.URL preference is to decide which search engine should be used when a users enters the search term in the address bar. Many times malicious add-on target this settings and redirect users to a different search engine.
Other browsers which already includes this feature is Internet Explorer and Google Chrome where it informs you about the search engine the browser is using for searches from the location bar, along with an option to keep using that search engine or switch to Google Search instead.
Same way Firefox will ask you to change the search engine to default and if you select no you won’t be bothered again by the notification. This will change the parameter browser.keywordURLPromptDeclined to (1) You can change the parameter browser.keywordURLPromptDeclined to (0) to get back the notification.
The feature has already landed in the current Nightly build and Aurora. Mozilla’s Gavin Sharp explains that
“users falling victim to “search hijacking” (keyword.url being taken over by an unwanted search engine) is a common problem. Some of these cases are triggered by aggressive malware that wants to steal search referrals, but other cases can be resolved by us simply resetting the pref to its default value”
Overall, this is a great addition in order to protect users from Search engine Hijacking. via Browserfame