The gateway for most of our online world is the browser. It does not matter which browser manufacturer we use, on most computers you are going to get pretty much the same experience. Well if you ask any web developer it will not be exactly the same but for the average person it will be. As a matter of fact, the experience of using any browser is so similar that most people do not realize which browser they are on. They just click on the big blue E or the little orange fox and the next thing that they know, they are online.
But the companies who create the browser have more of a responsibility than just getting you online. They must try their best to make sure that you get online safe. It is in their best interest to make sure that you have a fun time online. If not then you will either move to another browser or not even go online as much anymore. So they will try their best to help you by either activating plugins that will keep you safe or deactivating plugins that will not. Just recently Firefox did this with a big time plugin.
The plugin that they did this with was with Java. If you do not know, Java is a runtime that runs both in your browser and on your computer. It allows a developer to create content in the programming language that is known as Java. The language Java has been a mainstay on computers for at least the last 15+ years. So it has a pretty broad user base. It is not used as much as say the Flash plugin in your browser, but it still used in more than enough in systems from around the world.
The reason why Firefox decided to limit the Java plugin in their browser is because in recent months there have been dangerous security holes found in it. As a matter of fact some of these holes are so dangerous that they will remotely shutdown your computer. So Firefox decided that unless the person is running a patched version of the Java plugin they will restrict it from running in their browser. It was a smart move and one that will save people a lot of heartache down the road.
We should see more app makers take this road. If there is something really insecure in the implementation of your product then shut it down until it is correct.