Which Browser Offers Best Protection from Malware
By Bob Rankin
Web browsers have become a favorite target for those who create malware. When it comes to guarding against these threats – not all browsers are created equal.–PC Pitstop
Web browsers are used to interact with the Internet more than any other type of software. So it’s no surprise that the latest malware tries to infiltrate computers via Web browsers. But which browser does the best job of protecting you? Read on for some surprising test results…
Which Browsers Protect You From Malicious Content?
The front lines of defense against viruses, spyware and other forms of malware are your firewall and your anti-virus protection. If you’re not sure you’ve got those two important pieces of software in place, see my related articles Do I Really Need a Firewall and Free Anti-Virus Programs before continuing.
The online security landscape is constantly evolving, not unlike an arms race. New threats emerge, and the software to defend against them is released. Because most users now have anti-virus software, the evil forces who create malware have turned their gaze to a new attack vector — your web browser.
Browser Malware Protection
The most popular browsers attempt to keep users safe from such attacks by blocking access to malicious Web pages and downloads of malicious executable files. The latest releases of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera all have security features baked into their code. But there is a huge gap between the most and least effective of the top five browsers’ defenses. And you might be surprised to learn which browser keeps you safest.
Security experts at NSS Labs, Inc., tested the five leading browsers against a sample of 754 “active and malicious” URLs (web page addresses) to see what percentage were caught by each browser’s defenses. You can read the complete NSS browser safety report, but the summary results are simple and stunning:
Clearly, only IE 10 and Chrome can be taken seriously if you are looking for a browser that protects you from malicious Web content. But what accounts for the dismal performance of Safari, Firefox, and especially Opera, and the narrower but significant difference between IE and Chrome?
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
About Bob Rankin
Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.