Safari 12 Security

Apple has released Safari version 12 just ahead of the Mojave OS upgrade. Safari 12 has several security and privacy improvements involving Passwords, Popups and Extensions. Overall, I think this is an improvement over earlier versions of Safari. At the moment, I want to focus on Extensions. I do not use a lot of Extensions in Safari, but the ones I do use come in very handy.

Safari Extensions

The increased security of Safari 12 has taken a toll on Extensions. Yes, you can still add Extensions to Safari, but there are far fewer of them. Some of the ones you currently have may not even work. This kind of sums it all up:

You may not be so lucky with your Extensions and plugins. Safari 12 disables all Safari Extensions which impair the browser’s performance, and only supports those which Apple has reviewed. It also discontinues support for most NPAPI plugins. Together these could spell problems, but there’s no easy way to tell whether you will be affected.

How do you know if your current Extensions are affected? Here is a screenshot of my Extensions in Safari 12:

Extensions Disabled

Safari 12 disables Extensions that may be a problem or that would slow down your browsing. If you look for this Extension in the Safari Extensions page you will not find it. My advice is to just delete it. If you go to the Safari Extensions page in the App Store (that is where they are stored these days) you may be able to find a similar Extension that has been approved by Apple. Or, perhaps the Disabled Extension will receive a future update. 

While you are there you will notice there are not many Extensions. I am sure that amount will increase over time as Apple approves more Extensions that comply with their ‘new improved’ security features.

I do appreciate the increased security, also the way Safari explains some of the Permissions for each Extension:

Extensions Permissions

It is helpful to know what each Extension is capable of doing from a Security perspective.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the security improvements in Safari 12 are a good thing. There may be some short term pain for longterm privacy gain. Lets work with it for a while and see how it goes.

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