What is mixed content and how to block it in browser?

Firefox protects you from attacks by blocking potentially harmful, insecure content on web pages that are supposed to be secure. Keep reading to learn more about mixed content and how to tell when Firefox has blocked it.

Table of Contents

What is mixed content and what are the risks?

HTTP is a system for transmitting information from a web server to your browser. HTTP is not secure, so when you visit a page served over HTTP, your connection is open for eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. Most websites are served over HTTP because they don’t involve passing sensitive information back and forth and do not need to be secured.

When you visit a page fully transmitted over HTTPS, like your bank, you’ll see a green padlock icon in the address bar (see How do I tell  my connection to a website is secure? for details). This means that your connection is authenticated and encrypted, hence safeguarded from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks.

However, if the HTTPS page you visit includes HTTP content, the HTTP portion can be read or modified by attackers, even though the main page is served over HTTPS. When an HTTPS page has HTTP content, we call that content “mixed”. The page you are visiting is only partially encrypted and even though it appears to be secure, it isn’t.

Also Read: How can I fix the mixed content on my WordPress website?

What are the risks of mixed content?

An attacker can replace the HTTP content on the page you’re visiting in order to steal your credentials, take over your account, acquire sensitive data about you, or attempt to install malware on your computer.

How can I tell if a page has mixed content?

There are two types of mixed content: mixed passive/display content and mixed active content. The difference lies in the threat level. Look for an icon in your address bar to determine if the page has mixed content.

green padlock with domain name

No mixed content: secure

  • green padlock : You’ll see a green lock when you are on a fully secure page. To see if Firefox has blocked parts of the page that are not secure, click the green lock icon. For more information, see the Unblock mixed content section, below.

Mixed content is not blocked: not secure

  • padlock with strikethrough : If you see a lock with a red line over it, the page contains mixed active content and Firefox is not blocking insecure elements. That page is open to eavesdropping and attacks where your personal data from the site could be stolen. Unless you’ve unblocked mixed content using the instructions in the next section, you shouldn’t see this icon.
  • padlock with orange triangle : A grey lock with an orange triangle indicates that Firefox is not blocking insecure passive content, such as images. By default, Firefox does not block mixed passive content; you will simply see a warning that the page isn’t fully secure. Attackers may disable protection for nowbe able to manipulate parts of the page, for example, by displaying misleading or inappropriate content but they should not be able to steal your personal data from the site.

Unblock mixed content

Unblocking insecure elements is not recommended, but can be done if necessary:

  1. Click the lock icon in the address bar.
  2. Click the arrow on the Control Center:
    more information about website
  3. Click Disable protection for now.

To enable protection, follow the preceding steps and click Enable protection.

Warning: Unblocking mixed content can leave you vulnerable to attacks.

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6 Responses

  1. Noel Worli says:

    I recently bought an SSL certificate for one of my WordPress blog .

    I then installed the Really Simple SSL plugin and that took care of the redirects from http to https as well as most of the mixed content issues.

    But Firefox is still blocking parts of my pages that it claims are still trying to load from insecure sources.

    Is there any way to fix it?

    Thank You!

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